• Temporary Guardianship Options in California

Temporary Guardianship Options in California

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.

“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

Get help with Temporary Guardianship of Minor paperwork today!


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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By |2018-05-31T11:25:16-07:00August 9th, 2016|Guardianship|16 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.


  1. Kai April 10, 2019 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Hi my aunt owns the custody of her granddaughter, but I’m not sure if it is a temporary type. She just signed and grant temporary guardianship to her granddaughter’s godmother. Her godmother stops them from seeing each other and told her she has lost the right of her custody. Is that right?

    • Sandy McCarthy April 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately we cannot comment regarding what is “right.” We are just a legal document preparation service.

  2. Bea January 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Hello my grandson is 4 and living a few hours away with other grandparent who does not have legal guardianship my daughter abuses drugs and wants me to get gaurduanship. I want to do this legally before my grandson gets here I’m just concerned my daughter will change her mind and keep him and with her addiction it will not be a good idea her having him until she recieved the help she needs

    • Sandy McCarthy January 28, 2019 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      We can certainly help you prepare guardianship paperwork. There are two options that you have. It may be better for you to just call our office to go over your situation.

  3. Lenya December 18, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Hello Sandy, I was wondering if a child’s legal Guardian (parent) was incarcerated and wish to sign temporary custody over to minors sibling by writing and signing a letter would it be suffice enough in the state of California or is it required to be notarized.

    • Sandy McCarthy December 19, 2018 at 1:13 am - Reply

      There is required language and form that should be utilized. Give us a call to prepare at 800-746-2780.

  4. maria February 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    hi i have a 13 year old son he grew up seeing my mother as his mom i moved out my mom’s house and he doesn’t wants to move in with me the problem is he doesn’t wants to go to school i have 3 little girls and I don’t want this to affect them what can I do. should I go to court and explain the case so they can give her full custody ?? he is not staying with me rightnow he is at her house.

    • Sandy McCarthy February 20, 2018 at 2:37 am - Reply

      Your situation is not clear. Does you mom have a formal legal guardianship
      order on your our son? If not and she is going to be his caregiver/guardian, she may want to file for legal guardianship. If there is a biological father in the picture, that may also pose another problem if he does not agree with the guardianship. Your mother may want to seek legal advice with regards to obtaining a legal guardianship of your son. If she simply requires help with the paperwork, we can help her.

  5. Elizabeth January 3, 2018 at 1:33 am - Reply

    My son was given full custody of toddler twins. There was no court battle, the judge deemed the mother unfit and is to only see the children in a supervised setting. My son really needs help. He has no verifiable income and is living on hopes and dreams. May i gain a partnership care provider guardianship and have the ability to use my proof of income (as he has no verifiable income) to apply for subsidized childcare, medi-cal benefits and/or food stamps.

    • Sandy McCarthy January 3, 2018 at 5:02 am - Reply

      I would research this option with the state agencies you are dealing with. My gut feeling is that it probably will not work. However, not sure why your son would not qualify for these state benefits..

  6. Heather Baltazar October 18, 2017 at 3:27 am - Reply

    I’m a mom of 3 children who were taken for both my husband and myself. My mother has guardianship and is being very difficult. She want permanent guardianship of my kids. What to do to keep that from happening?

    • Sandy McCarthy October 18, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

      If your mother has filed for guardianship through the courts you could always file an objection. however you indicated that your children were removed from your custody so there might be justification for the guardianship being awarded to your mother. You can also ask for a visitation order. You should contact an attorney if you need legal advice. If you need help with the paperwork please give our office a call.

  7. Sharon Zapata September 24, 2017 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am a non relative of a minor interested in learning how one judge can give me temporary guardianship of a child while another denies legal guardianship of the same child who has resided with me for a year and has made a complete turn around for the better. In the last year my child had only had 2 visits with her mother who moved out of town and left my now 16 year old daughter living with friends and was running wild with no supervision and no concern or financial assistance from the parents. Before living with me she lived with her paternal grandmother but ran away after a couple of months from there weren’t to stay with friends where she was allowed to come and go as she pleased dated men old enough to be her father or grandfather. Since living with me she has completed all her programs with high regards that were required of her from probation. Is no longer coming and going or dating grown ups. She has developed a since of belonging to a family and not an outsider. The juvenile judge has given me temporary guardianship but the superior court accused me of letting her run wild and free staying she’d be better off being left alone then with me. I don’t understand where he got his information and when I tried to speak to inquire of the accusations he quickly shut me down and stated the juvenile court has jurisdiction over the case but he would not give me guardianship. It was extremely harsh and very unexpected. What can I do

    • Sandy McCarthy September 25, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

      I would suggest you talk to an attorney. You talk about two different cases pertaining to the same child. I am not clear on what each case was about or why you had two different cases and judges.

  8. Sharyl Anderson February 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Hi, Sandy I was reading about temporary guardianship and wanted to know how one parent who is in good condition doing well but lives in another state can give a grandmother temp guardianship without the father (other parent) having any rights. A father whose rights has been taken completely away from him because he missed one day in court. Also, if full custody was granted to the mom based on a false report that was submitted to the judge by the grandmother of the mother, how can the rights of the father be relinquished period? What rights do this father have? He loves his daughter and he has not been able to see her for 2 years. Back, in 2014 the mom allowed the little girl to visit the Dad, and he had her for a long time. However, the mom was not really concerned until her mother stepped in so the mother of the little girl took the little girl from the father unknowingly. She then sent the little girl to California to be with the grandmother. By this time the father is upset and frustrated about what occurred, so with the help of the little girl’s uncle the father came to California and got her back unknowingly. So then the grandmother took the situation to court in ATL where the mother of the little girl lived and the mother was granted full custody. Now, here’s the kicker part the mother sent the little girl to CA, but the judge granted the father visitation rights in ATL. Now, the little girl has been in CA every since with no visitation rights granted to the father who lives in NJ. He is devastated by all of it, and wants to know who can help him. He does not have a good relationship with the grandmother at all.

    • Sandy McCarthy February 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      An attorney would need to meticulously review all of the court papers in this case and see what orders were issued and why in order to give you legal advice on this matter. The legal system can be complex and some courts may not know what another court is doing. The father should definitely contact an attorney to first sort through this and get some direction as to what his options may be. Once he has a plan of attack, we may be able to assist with any necessary legal document preparation.

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