The court gives legal responsibility over the care and protection of a child to someone other than the child's parents. Parental rights are suspended (not terminated) while the guardianship
is in place.
The guardian can then provide the child with health insurance, enroll the child in school; receive benefits on behalf of the child, etc.
A child under the age of 18 years whose parents can no longer provide care for him or her for any reason (such as death, military obligation, incarceration or the parent is unavailable or unwilling to parent the child), or if it would be detrimental for the minor to be in their parents care, or the child has been in a non-parents care for a significant period of time and removal from that placement to a parents care would be detrimental to the child.
A Guardian must take care of the child's needs including: food, shelter, education, medical and dental care, safety, and physical or emotional growth.
The child's parents are still required to provide financial support in most cases.
- Family Friends
- Interested person over the age of 18
The Guardian cannot have been convicted of a felony or adjudicated disabled.
A guardianship does not end the parent child relationship. It only establishes another separate legal relationship between the guardian and the child. A guardianship can stay in place until the minor turns 18 years old or until the Guardianship is no longer necessary.
On the other hand, adoption permanently ends the biological parent's rights and obligations. The adopting parents become legally the child's parents with all the rights and responsibilities as a parent.
relatives, step parents and any person having an interest in the
welfare of the child, including nonrelatives and prior Guardians.
Usually a request
for nonparent visitation is made in the course of a proceeding in
which custody is at issue. For example a Divorce/Dissolution of
Marriage action, a Paternity case, a Family Law Domestic Violence
Restraining Order action, a Guardianship case, or a Juvenile
However, a petition for nonparent
visitation may also be filed when custody is not at issue. A
grandparent may file a Petition under Family Code
and ask the Court for the right for grandparent visitation. Also,
in the event either parent of an unemancipated minor child is
deceased, a Petition may be initiated for visitation by the children,
siblings, parents, and/or grandparents of the deceased parent at any
time under Family Code
First, a nonparent must determine if
they need to file a joinder with the Court. If there is a
current custody case, pending,
a motion for Joinder must be
filed with the Court requesting the nonparent to be joined as a party
to the current proceeding. As stated above, there are different
types of nonrelative visitation. Each type of nonrelative falls under
a different family code section and there will be different standards
for each nonrelative under the Family Law code. For example,
Grandparents may seek visitation orders under Family Code
section 3103 by joining into current proceeding.
However, if there
is no current custody case pending then
a Grandparent petition is filed under Family Code
3104. Additionally, in a case of a
deceased parent, A Motion for Joinder is not required. A
non-relative may file their petition for visitation under Family
section 3102 at any time.
Next, a Petition
must be filed with the Court requesting you be awarded nonparent
visitation with the minor child. Included with the Petition is
your declaration explaining why this is in the child’s best
interest and all additional relevant facts the Court should
Both the Motion for
Joinder and the Petition must be served on both parents and anyone
else who is entitled to custody of the minor child, such as a
California Law allows a Judge to give
reasonable visitation rights to a nonparent. However, there are a
number of factors the Court considers in awarding visitation to a
nonparent. The Court must respect the parent(s) due process right to
the care, custody and control of their child. A parent has a
fundamental right under the 14th
amendment to make
decisions regarding the care, custody and control of their child.
In order to overcome this fundamental right, the court may grant
visitation to a nonparent only if the court presumes that a parent’s
decision to terminate visitation with a nonparent is in the child’s
must determine through an evidentiary hearing whether or not the
Court should override a parent’s
choice. A nonparent has the burden
of proving that they have significant ties to the minor child and
must show that denying future visits between
the nonparent and the child would be detrimental to the
child’s emotional wellbeing and that an order for visitation is in
the child’s best interest.
For additional information regarding
nonparent visitation please contact our office
to set up a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys
regarding your family and situation.