Single parents and parents with serious health conditions sometimes must consider temporary or long-term guardianship options for their children. Under legal guardianship, a parent formally relinquishes care and control of a minor child to another person. For parents considering temporary guardianship in California, we’ve provided a brief outline of your options below.

Temporary Guardianship Options in California

Power of Attorney for a Minor Child

A power of attorney for a minor child is one of several options for temporary guardianship in California. More specifically, this option grants a responsible adult the legal right to make decisions on a child’s behalf when their parent is unable to do so.

Additionally, this adult will have physical custody over the child. Therefore, they can decide where the child attends school and receives medical care. However, note that either parent may cancel a power of attorney at any time. Also, parents must sign and notarize the form for legal validity. Contact A People’s Choice for more information about the required legal documents.

“Setting up a temporary guardianship of my son when he spent the summer with his grandma was super easy with A People’s Choice.” R. Alcantar
“Using their services for the guardianship paperwork saved me several hundred dollars as compared to the quote I got from an attorney in the area.” R. Alcantar

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Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit

A caregiver’s authorization affidavit is a temporary guardianship option best used for relatives caring for a minor. This form provides the caregiver the ability to enroll the minor in school and make medical decisions on their behalf. However, if the caregiver is not a relative of the child, they can only make medical decisions related to school. For example, they can approve immunizations or physical exams the school requires for enrollment.

Similar to a power of attorney for a minor child, the caregiver’s authorization affidavit is not an official court order. Thus, a parent can cancel this form at any time. Contact us for help properly preparing this affidavit.

Joint Guardianship

Typically, a parent uses joint guardianship when they have a serious medical condition and need a responsible adult to look after their child. In fact, this is an important legal option for terminally ill parents seeking to make future custody plans for their children. Unfortunately, this process is only available in California and Connecticut.

A joint guardianship allows a parent to retain their rights while sharing parental authority with a caregiver. That caregiver is authorized to make the following decisions on a child’s behalf:

  • Where the child resides
  • What medical treatment the child receives
  • Which school the child attends
  • Whether the child may enlist in the military or get a driver’s license

Ultimately, this caregiver will become the child’s sole legal guardian in the event the parent passes away. Note that the court requires parents to complete and file certain forms with the court to set up a joint guardianship. A People’s Choice can help with this step.

Private Agreement

Finally, a caregiver can execute a private agreement with a parent to care for a child. This written agreement should mention that the caregiver will have custody of the child with the parent’s consent. However, note that either parent can revoke this type of agreement at any time. Unfortunately, some agencies may not acknowledge the legality of private agreements.

If you are considering temporary guardianship options for your child, contact A People’s Choice for more information. We have over 40 years’ experience assisting our clients with family law documents. Plus, we provide low-cost, attorney-free professional services for temporary guardianship in California. Call us today at 800-747-2780!

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