Obtaining guardianship of a grandchild can be a complex process. Legal guardianship allows a grandparent (or some other qualified person) to care for a minor child and make decisions on the child’s behalf.
In order for a grandparent to obtain legal guardianship of a grandchild, the following steps must first take place:
- The grandparent must file a guardianship petition with the court.
- The court must approve the petition and grant the grandparent or grandparents guardianship over the minor child.
An experienced attorney can be extremely helpful in streamlining the complex guardianship process. The skilled guardianship lawyers at Rick Banks Law can help you obtain guardianship of a grandchild by preparing and filing the guardianship petition for you and addressing all of your legal questions and concerns.
Types of Guardianships
When it comes to legal guardianships in the grandparent-grandchild context, there are four main categories you should be aware of: (1) planned guardianships, (2) dependency guardianships, (3) voluntary guardianships, and (4) contested guardianships.
1. Planned Guardianships
Planned guardianships arise when parents name a guardian for their child in the event they become incapacitated. If the child’s parents named the grandparent as their child’s legal guardian upon their death or incapacity, you may be able to obtain legal guardianship over your grandchild without hiring an attorney to represent you. However, a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer may still be able to assist you if the court questions any one of the following:
- Your age
- Your health
- Your financial circumstances
2. Dependency Guardianships
A California court may also appoint a grandparent or other close relative as temporary guardian if the child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent. In dependency cases, the courts oftentimes impose stricter standards and may require the potential guardian to do the following:
- Complete and pass a home study
- Meet with a social worker
The guardianship attorneys at Rick Banks Law can assist grandparents with obtaining guardianship of a grandchild in cases where the child has nowhere else to turn.
3. Voluntary Guardianships
Voluntary guardianships come about when parents believe that, for whatever reason, they are not capable of caring for their child or children on a temporary or permanent basis. In that event, they may set up a guardianship arrangement in which the child’s grandparents will act as legal guardians.
In most circumstances, both parents must approve a voluntary guardianship by providing written consent. If one parent contests guardianship of a grandchild, you should seek legal representation from an experienced lawyer at Rick Banks Law.
4. Contested Guardianships
In some cases, other family members – including the child’s biological parents – may contest your right to guardianship of a grandchild. When this happens, you should seek legal representation. The guardianship lawyers at Rick Banks Law can assist you with filing a petition and seeking your guardianship rights through the California court system during a contested proceeding.
Contact a Fresno Guardianship Lawyer Today if you are Seeking Guardianship of a Grandchild
If you are attempting to obtain legal custody or guardianship of a grandchild, it is usually helpful to have experienced legal counsel on your side throughout your case. An attorney can address all of your legal questions and concerns and can assist you by filing a guardianship petition and representing you at court hearings. A good attorney can make all the difference in obtaining the legal result you want.
The skilled lawyers at Rick Banks Law can ensure that your legal rights are safeguarded from beginning to end. Contact the guardianship lawyers at Rick Banks Law by calling (559) 222-4891, for a free initial consultation.