A person who is not a child’s parent can become the guardian of the child by utilizing either a California Family Law Court or a California Probate Law Court. Both Courts address guardianship proceeding to determine custody of a minor child. Additionally, a California Probate Court can be utilized by the petitioning party to attain a legal adoptive status of the minor child after a two-year guardianship has been in effect without the need to file a separate action for adoption.
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California Minor Child Guardianship Under the Family Code
California minor child guardianship can be granted to a non-parent under California Family Code if the judge finds that leaving the minor child in the custody of the parent would be detrimental, and placing custody with the non-parent is in the best interest of the minor child. Detriment is defined as anything that would have a harmful effect on the minor child as a result of removing the minor from the care, custody and control of a person that has assumed the day-to-day responsibilities of a parent.
California Minor Child Guardianship Under The Probate Code
California minor child guardianship can be granted to a non-parent under California California Probate Code if the minor child is declared free from custody and control of one or both parents. The guardian can petition for the adoption of the minor child once there has been in effect a two-year period of guardianship. To have a minor child removed from the care, custody, and control of the parents, a judge must find that that neither parent has legal custody of the minor, the minor child resides within the physical custody of the guardian for a period of at least two-years, and the minor child would benefit from being adopted by the guardian. Benefit to the minor child is determined by the relationship between the minor child and the parents, the relationship between the minor child and the guardian, and the relationship between the minor child and any siblings.
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