How to Find the Right Guardian for Your Child

Choosing a guardian for one’s child is probably the single hardest decision a parent can ever make. For some parents, the mere thought of another person raising their child may be so heart-wrenching that they avoid making this decision altogether.

However, not choosing a suitable guardian for your minor child may actually jeopardize their future emotional and financial stability. How so? In case of parents’ passing, virtually anyone can make a case for guardianship if it hasn’t been given to any specific person in their will. In such circumstances, the decision will be ultimately made by a judge and they have no legal obligation to give guardianship to your close relatives or friends. Choosing the right guardian for your child must be, then, a well thought-out decision but a one that shouldn’t be postponed until a later time.

In this blog post, we will review what California state law says about appointing guardians and explore some suggestions how to find the best guardian for your child.

Guardianships in California

A guardian is appointed for a child in case of their parents’ passing or if they become incapacitated or disabled in a way that prevents them from caring for and making important decisions on behalf of their children. California family law recognizes three types of guardianships – informal guardianship, temporary legal guardianship, and permanent legal guardianship. The legal guardian is appointed by a judge and it must be a person who is at least 18 years of age and hasn’t been convicted of felony or misdemeanor.

A guardian has a number of responsibilities related to ensure that financial, educational, and psychological care of the child are well taken care of. Such responsibilities may include deciding where the child will live, where they are going to go to school, ensuring the child has medical care, providing food and shelter for the child, and so on. What factors do you have to consider, then, while consider which of your friends or relative will make the most suitable guardian for your child?

1) Look for someone with shared values

What moral values are most important for you? Would you like your child to have a certain religious background? What kind of education would you like your child to pursue? Do you think it is important to let your child follow their passions and interest? Answering questions like these will help you clearly define what values would you like your child to have inculcated and this in turn will help you find a person who shares similar values as you.

2) Stability is the key

Of course, shared values are not enough. You want your child to be raised in a stable environment. So a potential guardian will ideally be someone who has financial resources to care for your child and who is emotionally balanced as well as physically healthy. If they are married, it is important to consider if their marriage will be a good family model for your child. If they have children, you might consider how good of a job they’re doing at raising them in your opinion.

3) Don’t be swayed by others

Your friends and relatives may have all sorts of different opinions about who will make the most suitable guardian for your child and they may not shy away from voicing them. While it may be challenging not to give in to the pressure, remember that you are the parent. You know what is best for your child better than anyone so the decision to choose your guardian is yours and yours alone.

4) Are they up to it?

Once you have chosen a person you think will make the most suitable guardian for your child, you need to ask them for their permission. For a variety of reason, they may not be comfortable with your choice and feel obliged to decline. Knowing this will give the option to choose another guardian while it is still possible.

The process of appointing guardianship entails a number of legal requirements some of which you may be unaware of. Others you may find difficult to understand. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t let it discourage you from taking this important step to secure your child’s future. In addition, you don’t have to do this alone. Our compassionate and experienced family law attorneys can guide you each step of this difficult and emotional process. Please find more information on how we can help you with your guardianship case by clicking here. If you need help getting started, call us at 951-587-8970!

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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