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Guardianship & Adoptions


A Guardianship is when a judge gives a responsible person who is not the parent the custody of a child under the age of 18. A guardianship is sometimes needed when, no matter how much parents love their children, they are not able to parent for some of the following reasons:

  • Have a serious mental or physical illness

  • In the military and stationed overseas

  • Have to go to a drug or alcohol rehab program

  • Are going to jail or prison

  • Are drug or alcohol abusers

  • Are physically abusive


Types of Guardianships

There are different types of Guardianships:

  • Guardianship of the Person is a petition that is filed with the court when a child under the age of 18 is living with an adult who is not the child’s parent and the adult needs legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child – for instance, where the minor will live, where they will be educated, and the ability to give consent for medical treatment.

  • Guardianship of the Estate is a petition that is filed with the court to manage a child’s income, money, or other property until the child turns 18 years of age. A child may need a guardian of the estate if he or she inherits money or assets.


In some cases the same person can be the guardian of the person and of the estate. In other cases, the court might appoint two separate persons.

Selecting Guardians of Minors

The courts, in all matters involving children, make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. In Guardianship cases, the courts could appoint relatives, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child. The court wants to make sure that the child is raised in a safe, stable, and caring environment.

Responsibilities of the Guardian

In a guardianship of the person, the guardian has the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child and can make all the decisions about the physical care of the child that a parent would make

The guardian is responsible for the child’s care; this includes the following:

  • Food, clothing & shelter

  • Protection & safety

  • Emotional & physical growth

  • Dental & medical care

  • Schooling and any other special needs


The guardian is also be responsible for the child’s supervision and may be liable for any intentional damage the child may cause to property, etc.

Guardianship of the Estate

The guardian of the estate is responsible for the following:

  • To manage the child’s money

  • To make smart investments for the child

  • To carefully manage the child’s property


Obviously, each area of the court appointed responsibilities of Guardianships are extremely thorough and require a lot of work and oversight. An experienced attorney can help you to understand the Guardianship process, to file the correct legal documents, to maintain and manage the Guardianship, and to terminate it when necessary.

Scottie Leming – Here to Help You

Scottie Leming has the experience handling Guardianships in the State of California and can help you through the entire process. She is compassionate and caring – and as such, she works meticulously together with you to get the family care and support that your minor needs. Call (951) 348-0239 or email to learn more about all of your Guardianship order.

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