Legal Guardianship Attorney in Riverside

Protect Your Rights with a Family Lawyer

What is a legal guardian? This person is appointed by the court or in a will and is responsible to care for another person, known as a ward. Guardianship is common in cases where a parent dies, there is physical abuse, or there is parental incapacity. Although the ward is usually a minor, they may also be an adult who has special needs.

If no guardian was stated in the parent's will, the court will generally choose a guardian who has close ties with the ward, such as a family member or friend. This guardian must be willing to take on the responsibility of caring for the ward. Before appointing a potential guardian, the court will first consider their character and history.

A Guardian's Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the guardian include making decisions about medical care, education, and finances. It also includes day-to-day care like food, housing, and transportation. Whatever the reason the parents could not take care of the child, the role of a guardian is extremely important. It the guardian fails in their duties, they will be removed by the court and a new guardian will be chosen.

Emancipation of Minors in California

When a child's wishes differ from their parents, a minor may want to emancipate themselves from their parents. Parents are legal guardians unless otherwise decided, of their children until the children are 18 years of age. California Family Code § 7000-7002 details what is known as the "Emancipation of Minors Law."

To be considered, a minor must fulfill one of the following categories :

  • The minor gained permission from their legal guardians and the court,
  • They joined the military under the permission of their parents, or
  • They were able to receive a declaration of emancipation from a judge.

In California, the minor must be at least 14 years old and be able to sustain themselves with their own money. Your child may be attempting to be emancipated from your parental authority, for which you may need the guidance and defense of a Riverside family law attorney to retain custody.

What Are My Options?

If you are looking to obtain guardianship of a minor, you do have options. You must first show that the natural parent is unfit to serve as a guardian of the child, either due to neglect, abuse and/or abandonment, or you must prove that you are better equipped to raise the child in order to gain custody. Depending on the circumstances of your case and your relationship to the child, guardianship cases can be complicated to navigate without legal help.

Family law issues can be complicated and emotional for everyone involved; however, if you are aware of all the facts concerning your case and have a dedicated legal representative on your side, your situation could be drastically improved. If you have questions or worries concerning legal guardianship, please contact one of our Riverside family lawyers at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. We will be more than happy to explain your rights and do everything in our power to successfully resolve your case.

Contact our firm today to set up your free initial consultation.