Get the legal rights you need to make decisions for a child in your care with help from our expert guardianship attorneys

GuardianshipWhile the courts generally recognize that it is best for children to be cared for by their biological parents, in some cases this is not possible. For example, if a child’s parents have passed on, become incarcerated, or are otherwise unfit or unable to have custody of their child, the court may appoint a guardian to fulfil the duties normally attended to by a parent. As your guardianship attorney, Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP can provide assistance whether you wish to petition the court to appoint a guardian or need to respond to a guardianship issue being processed through juvenile court at the request of Child Protective Services.

Probate Guardianships

Probate guardianships are different from the types of guardianships set up by Child Protective Services. A probate guardianship can be established at the request of the individual seeking to be appointed guardian or by another family member. The party requesting the guardianship will need to establish that one of both of the child’s parents:

  • Guardianship in CaliforniaHave a serious physical or mental illness
  • Are in the military and have to go overseas
  • Have to go to a rehab program for a while
  • Are going to jail or prison
  • Have a drug or alcohol abuse problem
  • Have a history of being abusive
  • Or cannot take care of their child for some other reason

Probate guardianships provide non-parents with the ability to make legal and financial decisions for a child. Typically, a probate guardianship will include provisions for both guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. The responsibilities of these types of guardianship are as follows:

GuardianshipGuardianship of the Person involves providing for:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional growth
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and any special needs

Guardianship of the Estate is only needed when a child has valuable property such as an inheritance and involves:

  • Managing the child’s money
  • Making smart investments
  • Managing the child’s property carefully

Guardianship vs. Adoption

When deciding whether to pursue guardianship or adoption of the child, bear in mind that a guardianship does not terminate any legal rights or responsibilities that the child’s parents may have. Parents may still have the right to request visitation and the responsibility to pay child support. In an adoption, all parental rights and responsibilities are nullified, and the adoptive parent has permanent custody and no right to seek child support. Whichever option you choose to pursue, Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP can provide the detailed information and expert legal support you need to be successful.

Contact Us
Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA