• guardianship for minors in california

Types of Guardianship for Minors in California

When establishing guardianship for minors in California, it is important to understand the different options available and how each affects the legal rights of the parties involved. There are two primary types of guardianship for minor children: informal guardianship and legal guardianship. When do you need to establish formal legal guardianship of a minor? When can you use alternative guardianship forms such as a Guardianship Authorization or Caregiver Authorization Affidavit? Read on to learn more about the different types of guardianship for minor children, what forms are required, and how A People’s Choice can help you set up a guardianship.

What is a Guardianship?

Guardianship for minor children is when one person is allowed to make decisions for another person who is a minor. Control is relinquished from a biological or adoptive parent to another person on a temporary or permanent basis.  A guardian of a minor is usually appointed when there is an incapacity, disability or death of the legal parent. There are three different types of guardianship: informal guardianship, temporary legal guardianship and permanent legal guardianship. Depending on the type of guardianship, guardianship powers consists of doing one or more of the following tasks for another person:

  1. Assure the maintenance and care of another person
  2. Make financial, medical, and educational decisions
  3. Report to the court about the guardianship status on an annual basis

Difference Between Informal Guardianship and Legal Guardianship

Sometimes life unexpectedly throws a curve ball, and a situation may arise that requires a minor child to temporarily live with a family member or friend for a short period of time. It may be for a period of 6 months while a parent gets back on their feet after suffering a financial setback or recouping from a medical incapacity which has made it difficult for them to properly care for their child. A family member or friend can take in a minor child for a short period and assume responsibility for the child on an informal basis without involving the court system. An informal caregiver usually has physical custody of the child, but they have limited rights to make legal decisions affecting the child in their care because they do not have formal legal custody.

Informal Guardianship Authorization

Parents can sign a letter of Guardianship Authorization that gives a family member or friend permission to care for and make medical and educational decisions for the child while the child is under their care. This letter of authorization acts like a power of attorney but does not give the caregiver any kind of official legal custody of the child. It also does not terminate or suspend a parent’s legal rights. The letter of authorization provides recognition of a person’s caregiver status to doctors, schools and other institutions of the informal arrangement. The authorization allows them to enroll the child in school, consent to necessary medical care and even apply for Medi-Cal or qualified benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Informal Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit

Under Family Code sections 6550-6552, there is another form that can be unilaterally signed by the person who has care and custody of the child. This form can be used in lieu of, or in addition to the Guardian Authorization form. Schools and medical facilities are required by law to accept the Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit, however only certain relatives are qualified to use this form. If the child will remain living in California, the person taking care of the child can complete and sign a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit. Important terms and conditions of using this form are:

  • If the person caring for the child is a relative of the child, this form allows the relative caregiver to enroll the child in school. It also gives the relative caregiver the same rights as a guardian to get medical care, including mental health treatment, for the child. A list of the relatives that are qualified under this law are listed on the back of the affidavit.
  • If the person taking care of the child is NOT a relative, this form still lets the caregiver enroll the child in school, but they have limited authorization to make medical care decisions involving school (such as immunizations or physical exams required to enroll the child in school).
  • The Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit is not an official court form.
  • The Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit does not have to be signed by the parents, but the parents can cancel the affidavit at any time.
  • The affidavit is only valid during the time the child is living with the caregiver. The caregiver is required to tell the school and health care provider if the child is no longer living with them.

Both of these informal guardianship forms, the Guardianship Authorization and the Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit, are different from a court ordered legal guardianship. With an informal guardianship, the guardian will have physical custody of the minor for a limited amount of time. Their rights to make decisions about the minor child are also limited. An informal guardianship can be a good option when a parent requires long-term hospitalization or leaves the U.S. for an extended amount of time but the parties do not want a formalized court order of guardianship. On the other hand, legal guardianship is permanent and can only be revoked by a court order.

There are many things that would be prohibited with an informal guardianship that would otherwise be allowed if a person had legal guardianship. An informal guardianship usually does not allow a person to place the minor child on their medical insurance policy. A non-parent caregiver cannot consent to a disability assessment or sign a child’s special education plan if the parent is still available to make the decision. Although an informal caregiver can enroll a child in school, the letter of authorization and affidavit does not specifically authorize the informal caregiver to enroll a child in daycare or pre-school. The informal authorization may also prevent the caregiver from consenting to extracurricular school activities, although this varies from school to school.

Temporary Legal Guardianship and Permanent Legal Guardianship

Obtaining legal guardianship can be a two-part process depending on the urgency and need of the guardianship order. Temporary legal guardianship and permanent legal guardianship are similar in that they both allow a person to make important decisions about the well-being of a minor. Both processes must have court approval. Temporary legal guardianship can be granted by the court on shortened notice in emergency situations to get a temporary order pending a full hearing on the formal legal guardianship proceedings. In order to file for a temporary emergency guardianship order, a petition for appointment of legal guardianship must have already been filed in the case. The filing of a temporary guardianship and permanent legal guardianship are typically filed at the same time.

Who Can Be a Legal Guardian of a Minor?

A court-appointed legal guardian of a minor must be qualified to serve in that capacity. The legal guardian of the minor must be at least 18-years-old and cannot have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. At times, the court will consider the minor’s wishes on whom he/she would like to have as his/her legal guardian. The court may review a durable power of attorney or will to decide who has been designated as the minor’s legal guardian. If such document is not available, the court will usually appoint a close family member as the minor’s legal guardian.

How to Establish Guardianship for Minors in California

In order to set up legal guardianship for minors in California, a person must file a guardianship case in the county in which the child lives. The following forms must be completed when filing a petition for guardianship of minor children:

  1. Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor
  2. Required attachments to Petition (must be custom prepared)
  3. Guardianship Petition–Child Information Attachment
  4. Notice of Hearing–Guardianship or Conservatorship
  5. Consent of Proposed Guardian, Nomination of Guardian, Consent to Appointment of Guardian and Waiver of Notice
  6. Duties of Guardian
  7. Letters of Guardianship
  8. Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
  9. Confidential Guardian Screening Form and
  10. Any other forms your local court requires.

A People’s Choice can help you prepare and file the forms required to establish a guardianship for minors in California. After the guardianship petition has been filed, notice is required to be given to certain parties and agencies who will have an interest in the petition. A court investigator will interview the proposed guardian and possibly the child.  After the investigation has been completed, the investigator will make a recommendation to the judge based on their findings and the best interest of the child. A thorough background check of the proposed guardian will be conducted which will include a home visit. Once the investigation is complete, the proposed guardian will have to attend a hearing in which the judge will review the petition and all pertinent reports and make a final decision. The judge’s order is then filed with the clerk. Letters of Guardianship are issued which serve as the guardian’s formal authority of their capacity and decision-making ability for the minor.

How to Establish Temporary Guardianship for Minor Children

In order to establish temporary guardianship of a minor, the following forms must be completed and submitted to the court clerk at the same time as the Petition for Legal Guardianship.

  1. Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian of the Person (Form GC-110(P)) if you are asking for guardianship of the person only; or Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian (Form GC-110) if you are also asking for guardianship of the child’s estate;
  2. Required attachments to Petition
  3. Order Appointing Temporary Guardian (Form GC-140);
  4. Letters of Temporary Guardianship (Form GC-150); and
  5. Any other forms your local court requires.

If you are in need for legal paperwork to establish an informal or legal guardian of a minor child, contact A People’s Choice. We are happy to provide you more information on the different types of guardianship for minor children and discuss how we can help you. The Judicial Council of California has also published a pamphlet that offers a good overview of California guardianship and guardianship alternatives.

Get help with your California legal documents today!

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By |2018-05-31T11:45:16+00:00January 10th, 2016|Family Law, Guardianship|171 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

171 Comments

  1. Rita Salas May 13, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Hello my name is Rita and I have temporary guardianship for my two grandsons ages 14 and 10, can I recieve medical for them?

    • Sandy McCarthy May 14, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      I am not sure what you mean by “can I receive medical for them.” Although we are not attorneys and cannot advise I believe you would be able to put them on your medical insurance. Check with your insurance agent. As far as receiving State medical benefits, I would contact Medi-Cal, but my initial thought would be probably since you are now legally responsible for them. I am assuming the qualification criteria, however, would probably be the same as if they were your biological children.

  2. Mia Johnson August 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hi
    I received temporary custody of my niece for 1 year. It was a struggle getting her mom to sign guardianship paperwork (notarized) & provide all necessary documents for schooling. My questions is how can I get medical & financial help for my niece? The mom refuses to give me her SS#, but again I have all other documents including her birth certificate.
    Thank you

    • Sandy McCarthy August 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      It sounds like you only have an “informal” guardianship arrangement with your niece. You may need to proceed with filing formal court ordered guardianship proceedings which will enable you to put her on your insurance. I would speak with the various state agencies to find out what type of benefits you might be entitled to if you have legal guardianship of her.

  3. Sara Miller August 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I petioned court to appoint my sister guardianship of my daughter due to my drug problem. My sister has had my daughter for 5 years now. I decided it was in my daughters best interest to let her remain where she has established a routine, schooling, friends ect.
    However my sister refuses to allow me unsupervised visits and only allows me to speak to my daughter on phone if monitored. She refuses to come see the new healthy life style I now have. I even have a room for my daughter to have to her self during visits. My sister won’t even come to my home. I have maintained sobriety, worked intensely with a therapist. Am stable on anti depressant meds. And my daughter begs me every time we see each other to come home. I want to start slowly with regular overnight, unsupervised visits and see if it is best for her to move in with me later down the road. My question is how should I prepare for court because I know my angry sister is going to try to paint a very unlovely picture of me. How do you think the judge will respond and what should I do to effectively prove myself fit. Thank you for your time.

    • Sandy McCarthy August 13, 2016 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      You can always Petition the court to ask to terminate the guardianship of your daughter. When we prepare documents to terminate a guardianship, we try to make sure we provide the court with a complete picture to give them a solid understanding of how the circumstances have changed and the basis for why the guardianship is no longer in the best interest of the minor.

  4. Nichole September 4, 2016 at 12:37 am - Reply

    hi, I am currently struggling to get informal custody of my nephew. I would also like to petition for guardianship, but both parents are terrified of “losing their parental rights” over the child. Both parents are addicts and neither has a steady home or environment for the child. My husband and I want to provide the environment he needs while still allowing the parents to have a role in his life. how do I work this?

    • Sandy McCarthy September 4, 2016 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Your inquiry addresses 2 options 1) informal guardianship and 2) petition for guardianship. We can certainly assist you with either proceeding. It should be noted that a formal guardianship can typically be reversed, meaning we have had situations where the biological parents have gotten back on tract with their lives and they petitioned to terminate the guardianship. Do the parents still see the child? We have had some clients incorporate a visitation agreement into the guardianship proceedings which gives the parents a more secure feeling that they are not simply being cut off from their child. Let us know how we can help.

  5. Lindsey September 20, 2016 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I’m taking in my 2nd cousin bc her mom, my cousin, is on drugs & parole in another state & the current guardian is an elderly amputee with a husband in even worse health. I don’t have a ton of money because I am a single parent already with no child support. I don’t get govt benefits or any help, which is fine right now, but I don’t know how I’m going to afford the guardianship process as I believe I’d have to hire an attorney in both states to get permanent guardianship. She is 15 and will be going to the local high school and they said it’s best to get her transferred as soon as possible. How can I make this go smoothy? Would becoming her power of attorney suffice?

    • Sandy McCarthy September 20, 2016 at 3:41 am - Reply

      I am not sure what you are referring to when you say “both states”. You may want to talk to the school to see what they will require. Obviously a temporary Power of Attorney form is much quicker but the school may require more. Let us know which way you decide. We can help you with the document preparation for either process.

  6. Monica September 26, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am interested in finding out what you can do to prepare for a worst-case situation, as my husband and I are preparing our wills. We have set our guardianship preferences, but what happens to a child if both parents are incapacitated or die and the guardian is out of state? I would like to know what you can do to make it so a person who is near by, that you trust and who knows the child well, could have temporary guardianship of your child while your permanent guardian is in travel. In other words, in order to avoid there ever being a moment when the child is in temporary custody by the police or stranger. Is there a particular document you should make for this? And if so, to whom do you give it? Thanks for your advice!

    • Sandy McCarthy September 28, 2016 at 3:45 am - Reply

      We can certainly prepare temporary guardianship authorization to cover issues during temporary travel periods. We can also prepare your estate documents that would include language regarding guardianship concerns after you both pass away. You can reach us st 800-747-2780. In my opinion, it would be very unusual for the police or stranger to get involved if you have created proper estate and legal paperwork covering these issues. Unfortunately we cannot give you legal advice, but we can prepare your paperwork!

  7. Lupe Delgado September 27, 2016 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Is there an exception to the rule for residency requirements to file for guardianship in the State of California i.e. resident of CA for six months, in the County for three months. My client is “not” the biological father of the minor; however, he had a close relationship with the son while he resided in Arizona with the child’s mom (his ex. girlfriend). They are no longer together; however it is mom’s intention to appoint the ex. as guardian of the child because she is scheduled extended medical treatment for possibly cancer. The child have no kin whatsoever; therefore mom is willing to allow the ex. to bring the child to California; she will execute the informal Caregiver’s Authorization and then file the legal paperwork for guardianship in CA. Time is of the essence.

    ALTERNATE EMAIL: ELS-legal@comcast.net (Please reply to this email) Thank you.

    • Sandy McCarthy September 28, 2016 at 3:58 am - Reply

      I believe this issue is specifically addressed in the California Probate code. Please let us know if you need help preparing the required paperwork to file a California guardianship.

  8. Gloria Johnson October 11, 2016 at 4:21 am - Reply

    What do u do the o get your grandson that is place in foster care social worker keep saying grandparents have Christopher no reason rights. How do I get my grandson into my custody

    • Sandy McCarthy October 13, 2016 at 3:46 am - Reply

      You probably should seek legal advice from an attorney to find out what your options are and then contact us for the document preparation.

  9. Dana October 13, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    As permanent legal guardians, do you have to allow visitation with the biological father? The CPS worker recommended visitation be at our discretion – does that include ceasing visitation if we feel it is not in the best interest of the child?

  10. Dana November 12, 2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Hello. My name is Dana. My ex-wife had an affair back in 2006. We divorced in 2007. She, along with her husband, kidnapped my child and fled the state of Missouri. For 8 years I searched for them as they moved from state to state. I paid and continue to pay my child support. My ex-wife divorced him and remarried. She then abandoned my daughter to her ex-husband in June of 2015. I am still forced to pay child support. I contacted the district attorney and they found the man who has my daughter but there is nothing they can do because he has filed for guardianship. I have joint legal and physical custody of my daughter. I have no criminal record. I remarried in 2010 and have been married now for 6 years and have two children. The guy who has my daughter has a criminal record. What is going on??? What can I do??? I live in California, my birth state. We have lived here for 3+ years. They won’t let me know where this guy is holding my daughter. They won’t let me have any contact with my daughter. What do I do?

    • Sandy McCarthy November 17, 2016 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      What a very sad story. You probably need to immediately hire an attorney. If you know where this person is, I would take action asap!

  11. Paul Preciado November 18, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    My son and his girlfriend had a child who is now 3 years old. My son has 1 day a week custody, but over the last 2 years she has been giving him carte-blanc on hours and days until she gets upset. He is not stable enough to have custody and she has mental issues. She is now becoming very paranoid and hears voices. She is a meth user as well. She becomes violent when my son picks up his son. I need help, as a grandparent I would take custody in a minute, but can I file an emergency custody? not sure if that’s legal or if it would be accepted in a court? Would I be better suited to call CPS, I need my grandson to be safe and well taken care of.

    Please help?

    • Sandy McCarthy November 21, 2016 at 4:19 am - Reply

      That is hard to say. You might want to call CPS AND file for guardianship. I would talk to CPS and see what they advise.

  12. Michelle November 23, 2016 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Hello. I gave my 16 year old great Aunt and Uncle guardianship. My 16 year old and her great aunt got into a fight. Her aunt is also bad mouthing me to her and my daughter gets upset and argues back. My daughter has no repect for her or him. She told them that she wanted to come back with me. Her aunt told me to come and her get or pay for a plane ticket. They are telling her that she can’t go leave until Jan. Is there away she can come home, while her great aunt and uncle terminate the guardship? The aunt and uncle lied on the court paper. My 18 year is ready to write a letter telling the court that rvrything on thw court is not true. I really need help with this. Thank

    • Sandy McCarthy November 28, 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply

      You can always file a Petition to terminate a court ordered Guardianship proceeding if you feel there is justification to do so. Let us know if we can help you with the paperwork.

  13. Surina L McKnight December 7, 2016 at 5:54 am - Reply

    I want my kid and they will not give him back. The grandparents are trying to get guardianship of him and i gave them the right to have him and and now I want him back

    • Sandy McCarthy December 15, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      You would probably have to file legal papers to terminate the guardianship or respond to a petition for guardianship. Let us know if we can help.

  14. William Rueda December 10, 2016 at 7:07 am - Reply

    My wife obtained Guardianship of her nephew when he was 1month old. The mother was incarcerated and the father had issues with drug abuse. Now after six years we received a subpoena to terminate my wife’s guardianship. The birth mother claims she is free from drug addiction and would like to reunite with her son. Our concern is that she has multiple children 6 before and two after and fear she will return to her addiction putting our son at risk. We know it is in his best interest to remain with us as for we are the only family he has ever known, but we fear the court will grant her request since she is the birth mother. We really have no idea what to expect or what legal procedures to follow.

    • Sandy McCarthy December 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      You can certainly file opposition paperwork which we can help you with. The court is going to look at what is in the best interest of the child and may try to set up some sort of reunification plan.

  15. Chris Johnson December 22, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    A friend of min lives in Nevada she let her in-laws watch her children for a couple of weeks who live in orange county. During that time the In-laws decided to file an emergency temp guardianship of the 2 children and it was granted. She recieved no notification prior to the hearing and didn’t get the paperwork until the day of the hearing. What steps should she take now to get her children back?

    • Sandy McCarthy December 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Most likely the court issued temporary orders and a second hearing has been set for permanent orders. She should prepare a response to the petition and file it with the court. Our office offers this service should she want help preparing the paperwork. I would recommend she hire a professional like our office to make sure her side of the story is clearly presented to the court for consideration rather than trying to do that in her own.

  16. Marion January 10, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    my mother passed & my dad is in prison. I want to be legal guardian over my 3 younger siblings but only one problem my aunt already is their legal guardian. But it’s not fair because ive been living and raising the youngest since the day my mom passed and also supply the other two kids with more then she does. My husband and I want to be guardian but I have a misdeamenor and my husband has clean background. Can I still apply as a guardian? please help me

    • Sandy McCarthy January 11, 2017 at 4:58 am - Reply

      I don’t know that having a misdemeanor precludes you from acting as guardian. You did not indicate how your aunt obtained legal guardianship. You may want to seek legal advice to see what you could file to bring this issue before the court and then contact us again to prepare the paperwork.

  17. Mayerlin genchi January 12, 2017 at 5:22 am - Reply

    I have had cancer and I am in remission and I want to have everything ready for if anything were to happen to me. I am a single mother and my sons dad is a drug addict and is in probation and admits he can’t be responsible for our son that things could go down hill or he could get it together therefor I would want my best friend to have guardianship of my son if I were to pass away. What is the process or what do I need to do to leave that set that my best friend would be left as my sons legal guardian and his grandparents can’t fight for him

    • Sandy McCarthy January 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      You can certainly put your wishes in a will or other estate planning documents, however I do not believe a guardianship would be able to be legally established by another party until after your death. Your friend would have to petition the court and provide legal notice to the other parent. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.

  18. Coryna martinez January 16, 2017 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Cps got called and spoke to my daughter and before she spoke to them requested to call me and they denied her that and said she needed to speak to them per school principal then Sw contacted me because of traumatic experiences endured I relapsed consented to drug test told Sw first test would be dirty then tested 6 more times and all were clean. Sw said to consider a safety plan and tdm was needed and at tdm because I had bench warrant they said legal guardianship was needed by my cousins my daughter be referred to counseling and I participate and complete outpatient now cousins have temporary guardianship and I am in outpatient and resolved my warrants which resulted in only fines and have evidence supporting information in court report is false and the court Sw reporter is basing her recommendations upon false information and my daughter only ten years old tells me she is depressed and hears my cousins plots and opinions about me and I just want my kids home and don’t have another hearing until March but I want to have guardianship dismissed and my kids returned this is taking place in Visalia California please help me with what to do

    • Sandy McCarthy January 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      I would recommend you speaking to an attorney to see what your legal rights may be and how you can approach this contentious matter.

      • Coryna martinez January 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

        If I file for dismissal and write objection and correction letter do you think that would be the correct approach and if u have any referrals to an attorney near me that would be helpful too

        • Sandy McCarthy January 20, 2017 at 1:17 am - Reply

          We cannot advise you as to the correct approach or what process would best to serve your needs. Would recommend you talk to an attorney first.

  19. Sandy McCarthy January 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately A People’s Choice cannot give advice or direction about what people need to do for legal processes when they attempt to prepare paperwork on their own. We are the perfect low-cost solution for your legal document preparation needs for these types of forms. However, if you are trying to complete your legal paperwork without hiring non-attorney, professional help, we would suggest you contact your local Court Self-Help service who possible offers that type of assistance and may be above to review what you have prepared and answer your questions.

  20. patricia January 19, 2017 at 5:18 am - Reply

    my grandson is 6 mos old he was basically stolen from me legally. i live in California my son and his girlfriend were arrested Georgia, she had the baby while in jail in Georgia. i drove there to get him at birth and flew back to calif. with him. my x husband (my sons father) has a family friend who calls herself his cousin but she is not. her name is kim. Kim went to the court and filed for guardianship, on her forms she stated she was the one who went to get him in Georgia and she was the one the parents signed a notarized temporary guardianship form over to in Georgia and that she just needed California jurisdiction. the judge granted her temp guardianship with an upcoming hearing. The day she was granted temp guardianship she left the court house and called the police and told them i kidnapped the baby from her so the police called me and told me i had two hours before i was arrested for kidnapping to take the baby to her, i tried explaining that i had notarized guardianship from the parents in georgia but the police said her papers were all that mattered because we were in ca. not georgia. so she basically stole him from me, the court was not aware that she would be calling the police to get him from me because she wrote on the forms that he was already living with her. That hearing for perm. guardianship is in one week, i cant afford a lawyer. since then i found out she is on felony probation but the court social worker that did the investigation of her does not seem to care because she wrote the report all in favor of her having the baby. i dont know how to go about explaining my case to judge but i keep hearing that she cant be convicted of a felony, can you tell me where i can find the law that specifically states that? she was convicted of embezzlement and is still on formal felony probation. if i knew the code number to that law i could use that to get him back, my niece wants to file for guardianship which is where we want him to be but we dont know how to do this where the courts will listen without a lawyer

    • patricia January 19, 2017 at 5:20 am - Reply

      im basically just asking if u know the exact place i can find the law states they cant be a convicted felon

      • Sandy McCarthy January 20, 2017 at 1:19 am - Reply

        Unfortunately you would have to talk to an attorney regarding this question. We cannot advise on applicability of law.

    • Sandy McCarthy January 20, 2017 at 1:20 am - Reply

      You probably should file opposition paperwork if you are objecting to the Petition that was filed.

  21. Katrina Lawson February 1, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Ms McCarthy,
    I obtained guardianship for my adopted daughters little sister. I would also like to adopt her. Would this be a difficult process? The case is much different with than with my daughters who were adopted from foster care. For this case, this young lady was adopted too, but her adopted mother informed me that she no longer wanted her and just dropped her off on my door step. Would she need to go back into foster care for me to legally adopt her or can I transition from guardianship to adoption?
    Thank you,
    Concerned Mom

    • Sandy McCarthy February 2, 2017 at 4:12 am - Reply

      We have helped people in this same situation adopt after filing a guardianship. Give us a call for help.800-747-2780.

  22. Carolyn February 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    If there is only one parent living and that parent finds they are going to die from a terminal cancer diagnosis, can they give a letter of authorization to a half brother to care for that child and would that half brother have to have a background investigation by social services to be eligible for that type of guardianship? The child is 13 years old. There are no other living relatives.

    • Sandy McCarthy February 17, 2017 at 10:05 am - Reply

      Once the parent is deceased the relative would most likely need to petition for legal guardianship through the court which would, of course, require an investigation. It would probably be wise for the parent to create a will and nominate the half-brother as guardian as well. Give us a call for help with that at 800-747-2780.

  23. Tqmmy Wallace April 15, 2017 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Our daughter has full custody of her son but is finding she is unable to care for him the way she feels he needs to be taken care of and so has asked her father and me to take temporary legal guardianship of him. He is 14. What is required in this case and how long will it take to make this happen. Will that be enough to get him on our insurance?

    • Sandy McCarthy April 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Does the father approve of the guardianship? He will have to be notified. The required paperwork is extensive but the role of our office is to prepare it and assist filing with the court. A hearing will also be set usually 35-60 days out. The court will also conduct a guardianship investigation. Once the guardianship is approved I believe you will be able to put your grandson on your insurance. Please give us a call at 800-747-2780 to start the paperwork.

  24. Arijana April 22, 2017 at 7:34 am - Reply

    My child (16 years old) is going from Holland to California to school and will live with grandparents. What is needed for grantparents so they can help him with enrolling to school, getting med care and obtain ID and drivers licence from DMV?

    • Sandy McCarthy April 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      How long is this arrangement for? I am assuming your son will have a legal status to allow him to stay in the US? If the arrangement is temporary, a noncourt legal guardianship authorization may be sufficient and will cover the items mentioned. A court guardianship takes away parental rights so that is probably not what you are looking to do. You may want to get legal advice and then once you know what documents you want to prepare give us a call at 800-747-2780.

  25. Danielle April 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Is it possible to get a few hours unsupervised visitation once guardianship is granted and cps case is closed? For example i wanna pick my kids up and take them to a birthday party, not asking over nights but occasionallly be allowed to pick them up for a Outting. Does the guardian get to make the desision if that’s ok or not or do I have to go back to court? I’m not sure how to go about getting maybe 2 or 3 hours unsupervised visits maybe every month? Or on special occasions. The guardian is fine with me picking them up but cannot until she knows it’s legally ok or not.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 24, 2017 at 2:58 am - Reply

      You may want to hire our services to prepare and file a petition for visitation within the guardianship in this situation. Call us st 800-747-2780.

  26. Cheri April 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Can I ask for my grandsons guardianship hearing be postponed due to the fact I did not know I needed to reply to the papers I received about someone else going for guardianship of him? An the fact that the maternal grandfather was never notified.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      How soon is the hearing? I would try to respond and appear if possible. Call us for quick assistance 800-747-2780.

  27. Monique April 30, 2017 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Hi I gave temporary guardianship to the grandparents an what rights do I have ..an how easy or hard is it to get my girls back

    • Sandy McCarthy April 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      If this was a legal guardianship through the court system, you would most likely have to file a Petition to terminate the Guardianship. The court will look at what is in the best interest of the girls and your capability of providing for their needs. Give us a call at 800-747-2780 if you would like help preparing a Petition to terminate the guardianship.

  28. Chi May 4, 2017 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Hi what is the maximum age for legal guardianship?

    • Sandy McCarthy May 4, 2017 at 5:01 am - Reply

      A guardianship is typically for minors under 18.

  29. Vero May 8, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I have a nephew and I would like to have some type of right if my sister ever gets in trouble. My nephew dad is in jail with a felony. But Iam afraid that when he gets out he will try to get my nephew costudy.

    • Sandy McCarthy May 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Unless your sister wants to give you legal guardianship, I am not sure what you could do in the meantime.

  30. Sally May 20, 2017 at 2:03 am - Reply

    My daughter was in foster care for 10 yes with the same family they took guardianship of her about 5 yes ago. She just turned 16 and the women I’m going to call her L . well L contacted me out of the blue saying my daughter who wanted nothing to do with me 6 months ago now wants to come home. Now L is leaving the country as soon as her house sells telling me she doesn’t want my daughter to go back into the system so she wants me to keep cps out of it . but to contact my court appointed lawyer and ask what to do about the guardian ship. Now I’m not sure what to think. My daughter hasn’t spoke to me in 8yrs. Shed b leaving the luxurious life of a 4000 sq ft home a house keeper 3days at school and 2days home schooled , I phones . lots of $$$ to a 3 be 900 sq ft mobile home to not having a cell phone , unless she gets a job to pay for it.I’m not anywhere near 100% financially stable I live with my mom. Idk what to do? Do I contact a social worker or get a lawyer?? I feel like she’s just trying to teach her a lesson. She had my other 2 boys whom both asked to b placed somewhere else. I no longer have a cps case cause my boys r 18 . how do I get back guardian ship she says I voluntary gave up my rights but they were terminated by the court.

    • Sandy McCarthy May 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Talk to a lawyer on this one.

  31. Sheri June 5, 2017 at 5:47 am - Reply

    My ex mother in law who is 83 years old filed for guardianship for my grandson and did not list me as a relative. Due to her actions she has temp guardianship and the hearing for permanent is scheduled for July 14th. The judge told me that I could not present paperwork because I am not a party to the action. How can I intervene so that I can be considered as a candidate guardians?

    • Sandy McCarthy June 5, 2017 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      You could consider filing a counter Petition for guardianship. Let us know if you would like help with this paperwork.

  32. J June 6, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Wasn’t sure if my comment posted earlier. We have a 19 year old ex foster child living with us. We are getting ready to adopt her. She is pregnant. Doesn’t know who the father is. There is 2 different guys as potential fathers. Both live out of state. She is mentally and emotionally not capable of making decisions for a child and she is wanting to sign guardianship to my husband and I. From what I have read, there would be A CPS investigation with guardianship and we really didn’t want that for her because she has been through enough. Also if paternity hasn’t been established and she is going to be living in the same home as the child, will we have to get a “fathers” signature for this? We just need an emergency temp guardianship for now until she decides whether or not she wants to adopt the baby out or not. But I need to be able to make medical decisions and care for the baby as soon as she is born. So is there a way to file with the courts without actually having to go before a judge and dealing with an investigation/having to give notice to potential family members/signature of unknown father? Will they order paternity??

    • Sandy McCarthy June 6, 2017 at 4:08 am - Reply

      A court guardianship requires an order by a judge. The investigation is not typically conducted by CPS but rather Family Court Services. Notice would be required to the potential fathers but from what it sounds like they may not respond if they are out of state. Let us know if you require help with the paperwork as it is quite extensive.

      • J June 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

        What is the guardianship where you can file without having to see the judge? And doesn’t require investigation?

        • Sandy McCarthy June 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm - Reply

          We can prepare a comprehensive non-court authorization for you that provides guardians with full authority. It is similar to how a financial power of attorney works but is specifically for guardians of minors.

          • J June 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm

            Do we still file it with the courts? Does that still give me rights to make medical decisions and sign for potential surgeries? Also do I have to have both mom and potential father signatures? Mom is already willing to sign as she will still be living with us. Sorry for all of the questions.

          • Sandy McCarthy June 7, 2017 at 1:24 am

            The non-court guardianship authorization does cover for medical situations. However based on what you have told me, at some point it would probably be wise to file a court guardianship. If she puts “unknown” on the birth certificate, I would simply attach that to the guardianship document that has just mom’s name.

  33. Vanessa Riojas June 8, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I’m going through cps they have not removed my children but has threatened to remove them ..I signed a regular piece of paper giving my mom there grandmother temp guardianship will this work still… While I do my outpatient program I’m not trying to loss my 11kids in the system I’m tryin to better myself an have them all together i n there own home so my mother is living here at my place I need answer’s plz help

    • Sandy McCarthy June 10, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      It sounds like you need legal advice. Please contact an attorney.

  34. Jay July 25, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I am biological father of my son and got married after my son biological mother died. Now we are realizing while filling school forms n any other place they ask for guardianship documents related with my second wife. His step mother is currently taking care of him n we all
    living a very happy life. What can we do in terms of legal documents so that she can be legally accepted as her mother or guardianship.

    Jay

    • Sandy McCarthy July 28, 2017 at 7:07 am - Reply

      Is she interested in filing a stepparent adoption?

  35. Tracy Jones August 2, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Hello, I have legal guardianship of my husbands 16 year old cousin in California. His mother passed away when he was 11 and his brother took custody of him. 2 years later his brother passed away in a freak work accident while working in Wyoming. A wrongful death case for his brother was recently settled and a settlement check was issued to me as guardian for the child. I just need to know legally how I can go about cashing this check and what my reporting requirements are. The check is written just like his social security checks are and I deposit those checks each month.

    • Sandy McCarthy August 2, 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      I cannot say what your legal requirements are in this case. It sounds like you have been appointed legal guardian so I would check your Letters of authority to see if the proceeds need to be placed in a blocked account. If you still cannot determine what you need to do, consult with an attorney.

  36. stefanie August 9, 2017 at 8:13 am - Reply

    i just got married and my husband has 2 kids under the age of 10. both my husband and there biological mother are in jail and the kids are being taken care of by my husbands oldest daughters mother. (so no blood relation to the kids) what do i need to do to get guardianship of my step kids? and do i have more rights over the one who is caring for them now since im legally married to there father? also this is what there father wants me to do is to get guardianship of my step kids but im not too sure that there mother is going to be ok with it. do i even need her consent or is that up to the court??

    • Sandy McCarthy August 9, 2017 at 3:07 pm - Reply

      Someone should certainly file for formal legal guardianship if both parents are in jail! We can help with the paperwork. Keep in mind it is not an inexpensive process. Both parents will need to be provided notice if the filing. Your husband can sign a nomination form for you. Call us at 800-747-2780 to get started.

  37. Joanna August 9, 2017 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Hi, my ex husband and I have had 50/50 custody both physical and legal of our son since he was 5 and he is now almost 12. Well I moved out of county 4 years ago and we haven’t been to court to change the agreement. My ex husband has a new girlfriend living with him and he keeps telling me she is our sons guardian and has a right to do what she wants since she lives in the house but yet I am very involved in my sons life. Is this correct and can she ever obtain guardianship if both of the parents are still alive and do not have any type of substance abuse?

    • Sandy McCarthy August 10, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

      It does not appear that your husband’s girlfriend has any formal guardianship powers whatsoever. Speak to attorney, however, if you need legal advice. If you have moved out of the county and your visitation and custody arrangement has changed, it would probably be a smart idea to formally sign a stipulation and order that incorporates the revised schedule. If he is not willing to sign a stipulation and order, you may want to file a formal motion to formally change the custody and or visitation schedule so that it actually reflects the schedule that you are enforcing.

  38. Chris August 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I have legal guardianship of my niece. She is now 16 and wishes to live with her sister, who is willing to have her. Do I need to petition the court to end my guardianship? Should my niece in my custody file the petition? Does her sister have to file for guardianship? Trying to understand the flow and the easiest route.
    Thank you

    • Sandy McCarthy August 11, 2017 at 2:41 am - Reply

      The other party will probably need to petition for guardianship in conjunction with you petitioning to end your responsibility as guardian. Contact us if you need help with the paperwork.

  39. Anthony August 16, 2017 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Hi, I gave temporary voluntary legal guardianship of my 2 year old daughter to my parents December 2016, this was only for 1 year while I entered a drug program. At the time I was also awaiting trial for a crime I committed. I have always kept good contact with my daughter throughout, would see her regularly. However, I have now been sentence to 2 years in prison and Im scheduled to turn myself in on the 25th of this month. My question is how do I keep going with visitations? can they bring her to see me if the facility is close by? and what paperwork do I need to file in order to gain custody upon my release. Also my parents and I were scheduled to go back to court this December, as it will be a year of them having voluntary legal guardianship. Since I will be serving time, what will happen in that court hearing and what are my rights?

    • Sandy McCarthy August 16, 2017 at 2:37 am - Reply

      It sounds like you are looking for legal advice regarding your rights and remedies. I would encourage you to speak to an attorney regarding this issue.

  40. Linda Haley August 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Hello, my husband and are grandparents to our 14 year old granddaughter, Our granddaughter lives in California and we live in Arizona. Her mother is an alcoholic and homeless she is unable to care for her. We would like to have some type of guardianship to move our granddaughter here to Arizona to live with us. We would need medical, school, and sone type of legal authorization until she is 18 years old. Can this be done without a lawyer? Do I file California guardianship paperwork or Arizona? Our granddaughter’s father is dead, so she receives SS check until 18 years old. Do I go to Social Security Office in California or Arizona to get this changed? Also, she is on Medical, so do I deal with that here in Arizona? We cannot afford a lawyer for all of this mess.
    Thank you, Linda

    • Sandy McCarthy August 29, 2017 at 3:53 am - Reply

      Hi Linda : A temporary non-court guardianship authorization would probably work initially. Then once your granddaughter settles in Arizona on a more permanent basis you should be able to file for permanent guardianship in that state. Give us a call for help preparing the required paperwork. You can reach me at 800-747-2780 ext 100.

  41. maria September 14, 2017 at 4:15 am - Reply

    i have a question i had my son when i was 16 y old and he had some complications when he was born the hospital made my mom sign to b able to bring him home i was young my mom took care of him now he is 12 and im having problems with him school refusel and my mother is always in between my authority he listens to her how can i give her full custody of him??

    • Sandy McCarthy September 14, 2017 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Does the father have visitation? She could file for formal guardianship perhaps. Contact us for help with the paperwork.

  42. Chantell September 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Good morning, I live in California and my nephew lives in Washington. He is 15 years old. His parents are unable to care for him and they are willing to have him stay with me. I am not sure how to start the process or even where to begin. I know laws differ from state to state. I know they can not drive here as well to sign papers for anything. What should I do in this case?

    • Sandy McCarthy September 26, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

      We can prepare a temporary guardianship power of attorney first. Then if you later want to file a formal guardianship once he has lived here for awhile we can help you with that you. Call us at 899-747-2780. All documents could be emailed to them for signature.

  43. Mari September 26, 2017 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    I have had my nephew for weeks and his mom is doing 6 months incarcerated. All I want is to get him in preschool while he’s with me, when his mom gets out she’s staying at my house as well and can all rights for him but what do I do to just get his shot records and get him into school?

    • Sandy McCarthy September 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      We could prepare a temporary power of attorney guardianship form that should help with this. Please call 800-747-2780.

  44. Sophia October 5, 2017 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    I live in CA. My sister is having mental issues, she lives in Washington with her 8 year old daughter. She asked that we take her temporarily and have her go to school here and get medical care here. She and her daughter are also on state assistance. What is the best way to go about getting temporary guardianship of her if we live in different states?

    • Sandy McCarthy October 8, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

      You could temporarily prepare a guardianship power of attorney which probably would be sufficient initially to provide medical care and enroll her in school. Once she has lived here for a while and if the guardianship is going to be long term, you may file a formal court guardianship. We can help with both processes. If you feel you need legal advice, you should talk to an attorney, however from what you’ve said, it seems pretty straightforward and we should be able to help you.

      • Robyn Brown April 9, 2018 at 4:03 am - Reply

        Hi Sandy,
        I have a 6 year old granddaughter who I have had permanent guardianship over. My daughter is now clean , has another child by a different man , is working just recently but hasn’t had a stable place to live for several years and is currently sleeping on a blow up mattress on the living room floor of the new child’s grandmas house. She plans on living there for awhile. She has filed paperwork to terminate myguardianship which I rejected and now we have to go to trial.
        How do the courts view my daughter having another child ( does that play into the court wanting to reunite them?), her current living situation and the fact that the man she had the latest child with is who she was using heroine with and prostituting for? She is doing better for the last couple years as far as staying clean although is using methadone still and she has moved 6 times in the last year and half , just barely got a job and plans to reunite with the man she was previously with (above) as soon as he is out of jail in 8 months. I am very concerned for my granddaughters well being if she is granted custody of her. How does the court determine what the best interest of the child is? Do they always favor the child returning to the parent even after the child has been with the guardian their whole life (6 years). I’m not sure what to do in this case to protect my granddaughter . Any guidance is appreciated.
        Thank you

        • Sandy McCarthy April 11, 2018 at 4:29 am - Reply

          Unfortunately there is no way to predict a court’s perspective on a legal issue. If you need legal advice, I would encourage you to talk with an attorney.

  45. Lauren October 6, 2017 at 4:13 am - Reply

    I have 2 children for which I’m trying to take back from my mothers house. I lived with my mother for years since I had my children and few months ago we argued and she attacked me. She then forced me out of her house and when I tried to take my kids with me they asked me to let them stay until I found a place. When I informed her that I was coming back for my kids she applied to be their guardian. I don’t want her to be their guardian I want to take my kids. Do you have any advice? Our court date is at the end of Nov.

    • Sandy McCarthy October 8, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      You definitely want to file an opposition to her request. Please give us a call at 800-747-2780 if you would like our help in preparing the required paperwork.

  46. Sonia Reyes October 6, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    My ex’s daughter is struggling to find a sitter for her 4 yr old son, they live in Washington where it’s only herself, the 4 yr old and her 9 yr old son and very few friends, I am in California. She wants to send him to me since there is more help here to care for him. I want to be able to put him in pre-k while I work Mon-Fri. 7Am-3pm and take him to get medical treatment if necessary. My question is, what type of guardianship can I get? Again I am not a relative but my son’s who are 16 are her brothers.

    • Sandy McCarthy October 8, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

      There are non-court guardianship power of attorney forms that a parent can sign giving someone temporary guardianship of a minor child. Please give us a call if you need help preparing the required documents. You can reach our office at 800-747-2780.

  47. Margarita October 7, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Hello, my little sister is 17 years old, she turns 18 in May of 2018. She lives with my mom here in California. My mom and dad are separated. My sister wants to go live with her boyfriend and his family in Conneticut and be enrolled to finish high school over there. My mom gave her consent move away. My dad doesn’t want her to leave. What will she need to be able to move over there and be enrolled by her boyfriends mom (who is also aware and ok with my sister mobing in with them)?? thank you in advance.

    • Sandy McCarthy October 8, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

      I would suggest you speak to an attorney to find out what possibilities there are regarding the situation. Once you have the necessary legal advice, then you can call our office to help prepare any required documentation.

  48. Amanda November 12, 2017 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    How do I go about leaving someone with full legal guardianship of my children in the chance something happens to me where I can no longer care for them. Obviously it’s not something needed now but due to family circumstances I would like to legally grant someone guardianship in case I can’t be there anymore. Is there a way to do this without involving courts?

    • Sandy McCarthy November 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      You could make a nomination in your will. If something happens to you they will have to file a court guardianship but this shows your intent.

  49. Robin November 13, 2017 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I have been raising my grand daughter since birth, she is now 7 years old. She has always known me as her mother. Her biological mother (my daughter) passed away 3 weeks ago and the child was conceived from a unreported date rape. There is no father listed on the birth certificate. What needs to be done to become the legal guardian.

    • Sandy McCarthy November 14, 2017 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Hi Robin – I think you may want to consider filing for legal guardianship at minimum and you may even consider adoption. Let us know if you would like to proceed with either option. 800-747-2780.

  50. LaShawn November 16, 2017 at 3:59 am - Reply

    I have guardianship of my two cousins after my Aunt passed away. The oldest is refusing to follow rules and is a constant runaway,

    What are my options on ending the guardianship and turn him over to the state?

    • Sandy McCarthy November 17, 2017 at 4:21 am - Reply

      You probably should seek legal advice from an attorney regarding this matter.

  51. Misty November 26, 2017 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Hello. I’m wanting to get info/ help My cousin and his girlfriend gave their 5 y o child to me. To take care of because they have a serious drug problem and are homeless. I filed for guardianship and have a court date in a court or of weeks. The child has told me terrible stories of them giving her drugs and other things. But I’m so very worried that the court will side in favor of the parents. I only have text messages from them and what I’ve personally seen along with everyone that knows them and have seen the horrible things they’ve done. Including the child’s adult sibling. Please tell me what my chances are in winning the court case Thank you so much

    • Sandy McCarthy November 26, 2017 at 2:55 am - Reply

      Unfortunately I cannot comment on what your chances of winning are. Obviously a lot has to do with the quality of your paperwork.

  52. Monica November 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Hi there
    My cousin gave informal guardianship to her eldest daughter by letter notorized by my cousin and her daughter and my cousin gets child support from the father but she is currently encarated and is unable to cash the checks. How can her daughter cash the checks to help support her siblings?

    I’m just trying to help her children

    • Sandy McCarthy November 27, 2017 at 1:22 am - Reply

      Doesn’t your cousin have a checking or savings account? Perhaps she could ask the father to deposit the money in a bank account for her.

  53. Noe December 19, 2017 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Hello there Sandy, two years ago to this day the grandparents of my little girl petitioned for guardianship.

    They were successful due to my lack of a stable home. Living with my own parents did not suffice. It’s a one bed room apartment.

    I received a letter today stating that the grandparents attorney has withdrawn in accordance with provisions of section 285.1 of the code of civil procedure.

    What I am confused about is, does this mean the guardianship is permanent? Or just a notification that the attorney no longer represents them?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions.

    What I am most frightened of, is if I can’t reclaim guardianship. Once I have my own home, and can provide, can I petition to reclaim guardianship?
    Or would I need to convince the grandparents to reverse guardianship?

    We are in good communications, although I have not been successful in earning the income required to support my little girl…

    Thank you for your time.

    • Sandy McCarthy December 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      From what you indicate, it appears the attorney has simply withdrawn as the attorney of record. CCP Section 285.1 states: An attorney of record for any party in any civil action or proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or for a declaration of void or voidable marriage, or for the support, maintenance or custody of minor children may withdraw at any time subsequent to the time when any judgment in such action or proceeding, other than an interlocutory judgment, becomes final, and prior to service upon him of pleadings or motion papers in any proceeding then pending in said cause, by filing a notice of withdrawal.  Such notice shall state (a) date of entry of final decree or judgment, (b) the last known address of such party, (c) that such attorney withdraws as attorney for such party.  A copy of such notice shall be mailed to such party at his last known address and shall be served upon the adverse party.

  54. Bill December 20, 2017 at 5:46 am - Reply

    My wife and I voluntarily gave a non-family member temporary guardianship of our 3 kids by having temporary guardianship papers signed and notarized. Nothing was filed with the courts. We put no end date on the paperwork. It’s been less than 6 months and we need to get them back. Do we need to do anything to go them back? How do ensure that she doesn’t act like she still has them or try to file anything with the courts? We live in California.

    • Sandy McCarthy December 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      I would present them with a formal withdrawal or termination document notarized that rescinds the informal guardianship and pick them up. If she does not release them to you, call the police. She still may try to file emergency paperwork with the court however once she knows your intent. That does not mean the court would grant her request but you would be forced to respond accordingly.

  55. Rasheena Fairly January 26, 2018 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I have Guardianship of my four siblings and I currently moved addresses do I need to go down there to report my change of address and are they going to make me go to court all over again just because I change my address

    • Sandy McCarthy February 4, 2018 at 12:42 am - Reply

      You probably want to file a formal Change of Address with the court. Talk to an attorney if you are unsure of the steps you may need to take.

  56. Dawn McCarty February 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I am going to try to keep this short. I am currently the foster parent of a 2 year old little girl. I have been in her life since birth but she has been living with me for the past 10 months. Both mom and dad are not able to complete the things that CPS has required of them. Dad has already waived reunification services but did this because CPS told him that I would be the one with the first option f adopting her. Mom has done nothing she hasn’t had visits or attended any court hearing. Both mom and dad have huge drug issues. Mom and dad asked me to take the child when they realized they were spiraling out of control. Both mom and dad want me to keep her and adopt her. CPS became involved after I already had her at my house so they had me go through the process to become a foster parent. From the beginning they have told me I would be the first one they would look at if it came to adoption and never said anything about anybody else. About a month and a half ago a distant relative decided she should be able to adopt her. This relative has never met the little girl and she knew of the situation from the beginning but did nothing till now. This little girl that has known me since birth and lived with me for the past 10 months is very much bonded with me. CPS and state adoptions that previously said I was the one are now saying that the relative that has never met her may be the one but they want me to continue to foster her until the end of the case which will have the little girl living with me for over a year. She has already been removed from one family now possibly another. This just seems unjust. Is there any thing I can do?

    • Sandy McCarthy February 4, 2018 at 12:31 am - Reply

      You may want to get advice from an attorney as to what path they would recommend. Once you know what direction you want to take, we may be able to help with the adoption paperwork.

  57. Juan moreno February 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Can cps remove my son from a friend’s home,even when there is a power of attorney giving her the temporary rights for my son.both parents were in custody and cps worker agreed

    • Sandy McCarthy March 1, 2018 at 1:27 am - Reply

      I would get legal advice from an attorney who handles these types of proceedings.

  58. Stacy March 6, 2018 at 4:56 am - Reply

    I filed for guardianship of my granddaughter at her request. There was sexual assault (convictions) of the mothers boyfriend, documented drug use -including production in the home of illegal drugs, and an ongoing abuse case. CPS did not recommend the guardianship after the mother lied about my family- no one from CPS contacted us during their “investigation”. They have also refused to take evidence of abuse by the mother (photographs) and text messages documenting the 11 year old using drugs. The court investigator noted the child now says (after mom was served) that she wants no contact with me or her father (he is homeless) because she is “mad” at the allegations she provided for the application- she is now claiming she was lying. I have a hearing for a “contested” guardianship to fight the CPS no recommending the guardianship. Have you ever found these cases sucessful?

    • Sandy McCarthy March 7, 2018 at 3:33 am - Reply

      I cannot really comment since our role is simply preparing the guardianship paperwork.

  59. ajee March 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Hello my friend wants to give me permanent guardianship of her baby that is not born yet she wants to start the paper work now cause if she wait till she have the baby the state will take the baby were do we start.

    • Sandy McCarthy March 12, 2018 at 1:42 am - Reply

      I am not aware of a process where you can start the guardianship before the baby is born. You may want to contact an attorney to get some legal direction and then if you wish to proceed on the guardianship give us a call at 800-747-2780.

  60. Tim March 11, 2018 at 12:45 am - Reply

    I have a 13 year old step sister (my wife’s sister). We just found out that they are moving the another country and my sister does not want to go. She a freshmen in high school. What legal couse does she have to stay here? What legal rights does she have? She is a born american citizen if that matters. We are willing to let her stay with us and become gaudians but that prosse takes time and they will be gone by then. What can we do? We don’t want her to leave, we just found out there leaving at the end of May.

    • Sandy McCarthy March 12, 2018 at 4:50 am - Reply

      She may want to speak with a lawyer who is a juvenile advocate to see what her options are.

  61. Jayde Ross March 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    My goddaughter is a minor and now pregnant. She has been living with her boyfriend who is also a minor and his mother for the past 2 months. Her mother is trying to force them to get married. My goddaughter does not want to get married right now so her mother isn’t now threatening her. If she doesn’t go through with the wedding her mother will force her back home with her. It was not a good living environment for her. His mother will agree to sign off on the marriage as well if he only other option is her having to go back home. I would like to get guardianship of my goddaughter as she won’t meet qualifications for emancipation. Age wise she could but she can not support herself. But we also need to be careful that her mother doesn’t grab her and take off with her and force her to marry. I didn’t mention the boyfriend wants to marry so he would be willing. My goddaughters mother will have the boyfriends father (told a drug addict) sign permission for him. Can you give me guidance on which guardianship would be best (thinking legal) and what we can do to keep her mom from legally running off with her? Thank you for any assistance you can give.

    • Sandy McCarthy March 12, 2018 at 4:49 am - Reply

      There are only three types of guardianship: 1) guardianship of the person, 2) guardianship of the estate and 3) guardianship of person and estate. You may want to speak with an attorney to determine the best path for you.

  62. Soledad Rock March 12, 2018 at 4:38 am - Reply

    My 13 year old nephew’s mother is attempting to get full legal custody of him to get child support but he’s only been living with her for less than 2 years. It has been hell for him. Hes already written a statement expressing his fear of and the abuse of his mom. His father is in jail but has recently contested his mother’s petition and his parents have recently filed for emergency guardianship. How likely is it that the courts will allow my nephew to choose to move back to my in law’s? She has a pretty extensive rap sheet for drugs and is still verbally and physically abusive. Will the judge ask her her true intensions and why she left my nephew to his grandparents for more than 7 years? Thank you for reading and your help.

    • Sandy McCarthy March 12, 2018 at 4:45 am - Reply

      It is hard to anticipate how a judge will rule in this matter. It certainly would be important to have documents filed that clearly identify concerns and issues for the court to consider.

  63. Josh March 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Hi I will some answer so this what’s going on my mom just past way on October 28 my daughter is living with her aunt does the aunt has more rights then me as her father

    • Sandy McCarthy March 15, 2018 at 3:32 am - Reply

      You did not provide much info about you and your child’s relationship. How involved have you been in her life? What is your relationship like? The court will often look as to what is in the best interest of the child. If you have been absent from her life for an extended period, that is probably not in your favor. Obviously if you want to get involved, you will probably have to file some paperwork to bring the matter before a judge to decide.

  64. Yvonne Lorraine Gutierrez March 16, 2018 at 5:36 am - Reply

    What are my visitation rights as a parent against gaurdianship.

    • Sandy McCarthy March 17, 2018 at 12:06 am - Reply

      You would have to speak to an attorney to discuss issues about your legal rights. We are not allowed under California law to provide legal advice.

  65. BT March 22, 2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Sandy,

    My ex-wife and I share a legal guardianship of our severely disabled granddaughter since 2004 thru the state of KS. I had to take physical custody in 2012 of her due to her mother abusing drugs and ultimately going to prison. Her grandmother (my ex-wife) and I have had this informal arrangement between us for child support and summer visits. I live in CA and she still lives in KS. I keep our granddaughter for 10 months and she keeps her for 2 months over the summer. We both have guardianship of her and maintain this annually thru the court in KS. Last year her grandmother decided she did not want to financially provide support anymore and this year is deciding not to keep her over the summer anymore. Is there a legal responsibility for my ex to provide support as a parent would have too?

    • Sandy McCarthy March 23, 2018 at 2:33 am - Reply

      I would talk to the Kansas lawyer to find out what your rights are regarding that guardianship since that is the state where the order was issued.

  66. LP March 30, 2018 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Hi there, my husband and I are applying for guardianship of my niece. She is in California and we are in Washington State. Should an order granted in California allow us to take her to Washington state with us? Would we then have to also apply for guardianship in our state of residence? Please help!

    • Sandy McCarthy March 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Your California guardianship is a court order just like any other court order and would still be enforceable across state lines. However you would need to get court permission to move the minor out of state. Please call us for assistance with your paperwork. 800-747-2780.

  67. Diana April 5, 2018 at 7:21 am - Reply

    What are the rights of a named father in an attempted adoption by grandparents and petition for termination of rights of a child he was told died then was alive and kept from him and never met or given notice in guardianship proceedings which was the first step in adoption based on guardianship for two years being in the best interest of the child? Whooo long question sorry.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 12, 2018 at 2:44 am - Reply

      We are not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice or discuss “legal rights.” Speak to a lawyer regarding this.

  68. zamina April 17, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    i am 16 years old an living in california with a family friend my moms friend has been trying to get me medical insurance all she has right now is a petition over me does she have to become a legal guardian my mother stays in new york and im staying in california does my mom have to sigh her rights over in new york and after do we need to finalize it in california ?

    • Sandy McCarthy April 19, 2018 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Most likely she will need to file for a formal court approved legal guardianship to add you to her medical insurance policy. Maybe she should ask her insurance company.

  69. B.D. April 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    My daughter and her husband died recently, leaving one child, their 18-month-old daughter. I would like to apply to be her legal guardian. Many years ago, I served time for a felony, a “white-collar” financially-related crime, and have since worked hard to overcome this. I continue to pay restitution. I can provide excellent references from my current employer etc. I live in California and so did my children. I am caring for my granddaughter now. In your experience is this type of felony something that would automatically make me ineligible to be my granddaughter’s guardian? Would adoption even be possible some day? I rent my home and have limited funds for legal fees. The other grandmother, my son-in-law’s mother, would be willing to support this decision and would be willing to serve as guardian of the children’s estate (there is a paid-for house and a small insurance policy) if that would make a difference.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 23, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      I do not believe this would make you ineligible but you may want to ask an attorney what they think. Once you have their opinion, if you wish to proceed, contact us and we can help you do the paperwork.

  70. Amber santos May 14, 2018 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Hi, my name is amber. So my current situation is that my grandmother has full custody of my two younger siblings one is now 17 and the other is 16. However, as of now both my siblings are no longer happy living there. They are constantly being told stuff from aunts and I am tired of having to get a crying phone call once in a while. So my question is what can I do to terminate my grandmas guardianship over there and become their new guardianship.

    • Sandy McCarthy May 16, 2018 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      You would have to file a new petition to change the guardianship.

  71. Carmen Gonzalez May 16, 2018 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    I want to be the legal guardian of my own biological sister. She is 13 years old and lives in California with our biological parents. I am married and my husband is military. How should I go about starting the process because I am not sure where to start.

    • Sandy McCarthy May 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      What is the reason you are seeking guardianship? You may want to call us at 800-747-2780.

  72. Ana May 23, 2018 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I live in NY and would like my daughter to stay with my sister that lives in California to attend High school in August 2018. I’m hoping to move in January 2019. What would be the best way to give her guardianship so she can register her in school and get health insurance. I would like to avoid going to court. But when i spoke to the school they want to see a court order. I’m just confused regarding all the options there is. Thank you,

    • Sandy McCarthy May 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      You may want to speak with a California attorney re options. We can prepare a guardianship power of attorney but not sure that will be sufficient for what you want to do.

  73. Teresa May 23, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    My daughter has a drug problem and is not able to take care of her son I would like to have full custody of my grandson and she is willing to give it to me, what documents do we need. Do you need to be married in order to have legal custody? Do you need to make a certain amount of income to have the custody? What procedures do we need to go through.

    Thank you

    • Sandy McCarthy May 23, 2018 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      You may want to file a legal guardianship which we can help you with. You do not need to be married to do that. Where is the father of the child?

  74. Nicole May 25, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Can parents of the child be served by phone?

    • Sandy McCarthy May 25, 2018 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      There are different options depending on the type of proceeding you are filing. Give us a call at 800-747-2780 if you need help with your paperwork.

  75. Sandra carrera May 31, 2018 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Hello I am 25 years old, my mom just passed this month and left my 19 year old brother, 15 years old brother and my sister is 12. Now the small one is born in the USA but my other two brothers aren’t. I will like to have legal custody for the 3 of them and do a petition to get my two brothers legal documents to come to the USA to live with me and have them continue with school.

    • Sandy McCarthy June 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Talk to an immigration lawyer first. aim e they are here legally you probably can file for a legal guardianship. We can help you with that paperwork.

  76. Tracie Deal June 5, 2018 at 6:58 am - Reply

    I was wondering I have a friend who was incarcerated and her family is taking care of her 2 kids. Ever since she has gotten out she has seen them and even gave brother money for them. And there were never any papers signed on guardianship or kinship ect. And she went to see her kids and the brother wont let her see them. What does she need to do.

    • Sandy McCarthy June 5, 2018 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      She may want to contact the police if, in fact, there is no legal guardianship in place. If she needs legal advice she can speak to an attorney too to discuss her rights and a plan of action.

  77. Jessica June 11, 2018 at 9:26 am - Reply

    What Paperwork is necessary for Guardianship assignment in case of Mother’s passing?

    • Sandy McCarthy June 11, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

      I believe you would need to Petition for a new guardianship.

  78. Annette Seery June 25, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

    My husband and I are planning on divorcing. We are guardians for a 5 year old how will this affect the guardianship. We both agree that ue will stay with me. Also we have adopted a 1 year old how will that affect the adoption?

    • Sandy McCarthy June 25, 2018 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Both of these issues should be addressed in your marital settlement agreement.

  79. Derrick Wong July 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    My father started an UTMA (bank CD) with my son’s name and SSN when he was born. My father passed away a year ago, but he did not name a successor custodian for the account. So, the account is solely in my son’s name, but he is a minor (12 years old). As his biological parent, I’ve been working with the bank to add me as a new custodian. The estate department of the bank is asking for a Letter of Conservatorship/Guardianship (Fiduciary Letter). Is this something I can do myself or do I need to hire an attorney? I reside in California.

    • Sandy McCarthy July 10, 2018 at 6:56 am - Reply

      If you are talking about a guardianship of a minor’s estate, yes we can definately help you with that paperwork. Give us a call at 800-747-2780 for help.

  80. Jessica Rodriguez July 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Hello My name is Jessica , i am currently caring for my 2 month old niece ive had her since the day after she was born and her mother was incarcerated. When her mother was released a week later she went back to the streets. I have not been able to locate her mother to recieve written gaurdianship. What would be the best way with going about gaining legal guardianship for her without a written document sihned by her?

    • Sandy McCarthy July 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      If you have custody of the child, you can certainly file and petition the court for formal legal guardianship of the minor child. Contact us if you need help with the paperwork.

  81. Asher C Schultz July 9, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    My niece(my brothers child) has just been taken into custody by the state. She was being abused by her mother’s boyfriend. They are all(brother,mom and boyfriend)drug addicts. My niece had been beaten. I want to have her come live with me but in out of state. What do I need to do?

    • Sandy McCarthy July 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Asher – we are not attorneys so if you need direction, you need to contact an attorney. Once you know what documents you want to file you can contact us.

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