The office assists Petitioners in the preparation in filing Petitions to appoint Temporary and Permanent Guardians for minors. The Petition generally involves circumstances where a minor is unable to receive the care and welfare necessary because they become an orphan, they have been the subject of abuse or neglect, or the child has not been correctly domiciled in the home of a non-parent, and there are circumstances where technical changes in custody are appropriate.
A Guardianship is not a substitute for the other options available under the circumstances. For example, it is appropriate to consider the emancipation of the minor, a Petition for directing the investment of money pursuant to the Probate Code, adoption proceedings, or normal custody proceedings in a family court. There are other options that may be discussed with a minor or their Guardian, and all options and alternatives should certainly be considered prior to the preparation of a Petition for Guardianship.
Generally, Guardianships involve a relative or friend who is not potentially under the jurisdiction of the family law court for the purposes of the minor’s custody.
It is certainly appropriate for the minor to seek the Guardianship when the relationship has been longstanding and the individual has a good and supportive relationship with the minor. This office maintains a practice focused on the minor in the support of a minor’s need for care that they otherwise would not get, but for the Guardianship proceedings. Timeliness is important and can be critical to the minor, so this office focuses on getting the support done in a timely manner.