California Guardianship is offered to a person who has received permission from the court to make certain decisions and take care of a minor child or an adult who cannot take care of themselves and/or their property. The California guardianship can be granted to a person who is related or unrelated, but most of the time, a person who is related has more eligibility.
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Juvenile guardianship is the term used when a guardianship of a minor is granted by a California juvenile court. Legal guardianship is a court order that says someone who is not the child’s parent is in charge of taking care of the child. Legal guardians have a lot of the same rights and responsibilities as parents. They can decide where the child lives and goes to school, and they can make decisions about the child’s health care.
Guardian of a Juvenile Dependent Minor Child
A California Dependency Court may declare that the parents of a minor child pose a danger and that a guardian needs to be appointed. A juvenile guardianship can occur in six, twelve, or eighteen months after a minor child has been removed from the parents’ home.
During the interim period, a California child welfare agency will prepare a permanent plan and the California Juvenile Court will prepare an individual permanent report for the minor child. If the California Juvenile Court determines the child cannot return safely to the parents, an adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care plan will be established.
The parents, minor child’s other relatives, foster parent, and other interested party may qualify for a guardianship and may attend the hearings to argue why they believe they should be granted a juvenile guardianship of the minor child. The minor child may even testify during the hearing to state which parent they believe is the best for a guardianship.
A juvenile guardianship requires an in-home inspection of the guardian’s home which is done by the child welfare agency. Additionally, the guardian will likely have to meet with the judge who made the decision, and still qualify for guardianship after other interested parties and the parents have given their opinions. However, once the guardianship hearing is underway, a parent or interested parties my not contest the issue any further.
Termination of Guardianship
Guardianship may be terminated at any time if a court determines it is in the best interest of the child. Also, any child who is 14 years or older may ask the court to change their guardian. The court will then investigate what duties the guardian has performed and what the best interests of the child are to arrive at a decision. All guardianships end when the minor turns 18, is adopted, gets married, or becomes legally emancipated otherwise.
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