Single parents and parents with serious health conditions are often faced with considering temporary or long-term guardianship options for their minor children. A guardianship is a legal process when the care and control of a minor child has been formally relinquished to another person. There are situations, however, when a temporary guardianship is needed.  Below is a brief overview of temporary guardianship options in California. Read on to learn more.

Power of Attorney for a Minor Child

A Power of Attorney for a Minor Child is one of several temporary guardianship options in California. It grants a responsible adult the legal right to make decisions on a child’s behalf  when their parent is not able to do so. A responsible adult will have physical custody over the child. This means they can decide where the child attends school and where they can receive medical care. It is important to note, however, that a Power of Attorney can be cancelled by either parent at any time.

Parents must sign a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child form and have it notarized in order for it to be valid. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to complete a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child form.

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Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit

A Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit is another temporary guardianship option. This temporary guardianship option is best used when the person caring for a minor is a relative. This form provides the caregiver the ability to enroll the minor in school and make medical decisions on the child’s behalf. If the caregiver is not a relative of the child, he or she can only make medical decisions on the child’s behalf related to school (example – immunizations or  physical exams required for enrollment).

Similar to a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child, the Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit is not an official court order. This form can be cancelled at any time. Make sure you review the required wording for Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit to familiarize yourself with its contents. Contact us for help to properly prepare this affidavit.

Joint Guardianship

Joint guardianship is typically used when a parent has a serious medical condition and needs a responsible adult to look after his or her child. It is an important legal option available for terminally ill parents seeking to make future care and custody plans for their children. Unfortunately, this process is only available in California and Connecticut. This special court proceeding allows a parent to retain their parental rights while sharing their parental authority with a caregiver for their minor child. The guardian is authorized to make the following decisions on the child’s behalf:

  • Determine where the child resides
  • Select the type of medical treatment a child is to receive
  • Choose which school the child is to attend
  • Provide permission for the minor to enlist in the military or get a driver’s license

The guardian will become the sole legal guardian of the child in the event the parent passes away. Certain forms must be completed and filed with the court to set up a joint guardianship of a child.

Private Agreement

A caregiver can execute a private agreement with the minor’s parents to provide care for the child. The written agreement should mention that the caregiver is to have custody over the child with the parent’s consent. This type of agreement can be revoked by either parent at any time. Unfortunately, some agencies may not acknowledge the legality of these private agreements.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information about temporary guardianship options in California.

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