When the court appoints a legal guardian, the child will live with the guardian. The guardian will also be responsible for the child’s food, shelter, education, and emotional needs. In some instances, the guardian will be responsible for the child’s money. The guardian can add the child to their health insurance plan and provide medical insurance for the minor.
How to Get Legal Guardianship for a Child
There are various steps to file guardianship in California. The first step to getting legal guardianship of a child is to fill out the required court forms. This article does not promote the average layperson to try to complete the necessary forms, but you can find some of them at www.courts.ca.gov/1212.htm. Understanding guardianship forms and getting through the process without professional help can be difficult. Also, local courts may require other forms. Some family courts have a self-help center that can offer some basic guardianship help. Despite this, it is highly recommended to get some professional help to complete legal guardianship forms. Remember, you don’t need to hire an attorney to prepare legal guardianship forms. An experienced legal document assistant can offer form preparation for a fraction of the cost an attorney would charge. After completing the forms, the potential guardian must file the court documents with the court and pay the filing fee.
A person seeking legal guardianship of a child must inform certain parties and agencies about the petition for guardianship. At least 15 days before the hearing, you must send a copy of the petition to the child’s parents, the child’s grandparents and siblings, the person who now has custody of the child, the county’s human services department, and the state department of social services (only of the child is not a relative). If the proposed guardian cannot find the child’s relatives, he or she can file a form that explains what he/she did to try to find the child’s relatives.
The Guardianship Investigation
Once you file your petition for guardianship, the court (if the potential guardian is a relative) or human services (if the potential guardian is not a relative), will investigate the petition for guardianship. The investigator will determine if the child needs a guardian. The investigator will interview the child’s parents and potential guardian. Also, the investigator will check the proposed guardian’s living and family situation. Lastly, the investigation will also include a background check of the potential guardian to determine whether there is any criminal history or a history of child or domestic abuse.
After the investigation, the court will hold a hearing on the guardianship request. The child’s family members may object to the guardianship. If the court believes that staying with the parents is harmful to the child, and guardianship is in the child’s best interest, the judge will grant the guardianship. Once guardianship is established, the guardian is required to file annual status reports.
Low-Cost Help to Prepare Guardianship Documents
Applying for guardianship of a child is not a simple process, but using the professional services of A People’s Choice makes it less painful. Unfortunately, a court order of legal guardianship is essential for children whose parents cannot take care of them. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how we can help you attain a guardianship order.
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