The State of California is vigilant about protecting children. In many cases, that requires a guardianship to ensure the child’s best interests are adhered to. When a parent or the parents cannot care for the child appropriately, guardianship is an option. However, it is important for the parents and prospective guardians to understand the details and requirements of a guardianship and consider potential alternatives that might be viable.
It is not always required that there be a guardianship. A relative or another adult can care for the children on a temporary basis. Simply signing papers to grant another person the right to care for the child could make a guardianship unnecessary. This could avoid the requirement to go to court. One choice for giving another adult the right to care for a child that does not include a guardianship area is signing a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child giving physical custody and allowing the other person to decide on the child’s life with medical care and education. With this, the adult must have access to the health insurance information for the child. The guardian is unlikely to be able to add the child to their own health insurance absent a guardianship. Parents have the right to cancel the Power of Attorney when they want to.
When the child is staying in the state, there can be a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit. This allows that person – if it is a relative – to place the child in school and will give them the same rights. A guardian must provide medical care. For non-relatives, the person can still place the child in school, but medical decisions for school are the only decisions the person can make. This is not a court form. Parents are not required to sign it, but it can be canceled when they want. Once the child is no longer living with the caregiver, the affidavit is invalidated.
When concerned about a child’s well-being, a guardianship is a way to make sure the child is cared for. In many cases, however, it is not the preferable option and is not required. Understanding guardianships and alternatives to it is critical when making the decision. A law firm that is experienced in child guardianship can help the parents, the potential guardian and anyone else who is interested in the care of children.
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