How is Guardianship Different than Parenthood?

By: Wallin & Klarich

A guardian is an adult who has been given responsibility for a minor by the courts. In California, there are many differences between being a guardian and being a parent. Here are some ways in which the two are different.

A guardianship does not permanently terminate the parental relationship between a parent and child. A parent may still obtain rights to rear their child, at a time when the judge permits. Guardianship, therefore, should be considered a temporary responsibility.

Guardianship also is unlike most parent-child relationships in that the relationship is reviewed and can be altered by the courts. Guardians typically must report to investigators and the court at least once a year. Investigators will follow-up with the guardian to ensure proper parenting is taking place. If the court is unhappy with the parenting being provided by the guardian, it can make orders to place special conditions on the guardian.

Another difference is freedom of movement. While most parents can move to any other location with their child, for example if they get a job in another state, the same is not true for guardians. Guardians cannot move the child to another state without permission of the court. Before they can move to another state, they must first obtain guardianship of the child in the state to which they intend to move.

There are many other differences between normal parenthood and guardianship. If you are considering becoming a guardian, you should make sure you understand your future responsibilities perfectly before acting. Contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss guardianship with a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer.

Posted In: Family Law