Guardianships are extremely important for the wellbeing and development of children throughout California. They allow kids who otherwise may be in uncertain living situations instead be placed in stable and comfortable homes. But just as every child in need of a guardianship is in a unique situation, each guardianship is also unique based on the length of time it will last.

These types of guardianships in California are separated based on this length of time.

  1. Temporary Guardianship

These guardianships are designed to remove children from living situations that put them in great danger and are usually granted under the following circumstances:

  • A child has been willfully abandoned by their parents
  • A child has been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by their parents
  • The parent has been convicted of a sexual offense
  • The parent has a drug or alcohol impairment that impacts their ability to raise their child
  • The parent has been convicted of a crime that carries a jail or prison sentence or that otherwise makes it impossible for them to raise their child

Because children who are placed in temporary guardianships may be facing the prospect of physical harm, these guardianships are often granted within a very short duration of time, unlike when seeking a permanent guardianship, which can take months

Usually, a person seeking a permanent guardianship will seek a temporary guardianship as the first step in order to secure custody that is in a child’s best interests.

  1. Permanent Guardianship

Permanent guardianships are designed to provide “forever” homes to children who need stability, love, and supervision over their academic, medical, and other major life decisions. These guardianships are often the result of longer discussions and planning, and they often involve the input of the child’s parents in an effort to find the best possible home for them. And although they are considered “permanent,” all guardianships end when the child turns 18 years old.

In addition to the circumstances above regarding temporary guardianships, permanent guardianships are also granted under the following circumstances:

  • The parent believes that another person will be able to provide a better living situation for their child
  • The parent has a medical condition that will prevent them from ever being able to care for or raise their child
  • The parent’s career or vocation causes them to be physically distant from their child
  • The parent is unable to financially provide for the child
  • Both of a child’s parents are deceased

Temporary Guardianships Can Become Permanent Guardianships

It’s not always clear how a child’s family and parental situation will develop over time. Sometimes, situations that seem temporary and that result in family members or judges seeking temporary or emergency guardianships become longer-lasting due to unforeseen circumstances. When this happens, short-term guardianships can become permanent guardianships.

The parents of a child who has been placed in a temporary or emergency guardianship can typically object to a permanent guardianship. However, they may be unable to object to or change the plans if they are unable to care for their child or have put them in danger due to acts of violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or neglect.

We Can Help with All Types of Guardianships

Whether a guardianship is an immediate, pressing need, or something that is planned over the course of several months or even years, there are almost always legal hurdles that need to be cleared. And that’s where we come in. Our California family law attorneys know all of the ins-and-outs of guardianships, whether they’re designed to last for a short period of time or until an infant turns 18 years old.

Contact The Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC, for a free initial consultation on all things California guardianships. Becoming a guardian, even temporarily, can be a life-changing experience, and it’s essential that you begin the process as prepared as possible and with an experienced legal advocate at your side.

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