What are the differences between guardianship vs parental rights?
In this article, you’ll learn:
Let’s dig in.
If you want to give someone guardianship (or you want to gain guardianship), fill out the form below. We know how to set up guardianship so that your parental rights are not lost. Make sure that your rights are protected and that your children are safe.
When we discuss guardianship vs parental rights, we will refer to parental rights as custody.
Guardianship means having the legal authority to make decisions for another person.
A guardian is a person that takes care of a person who cannot take care of themselves.
Custody means having guardianship over a child.
Custody is having the right and obligation to make decisions about the child’s upbringing.
Let’s talk about the difference between custody and guardianship.
And when guardianship vs parental rights would get appointed to someone.
There are two types of child custody – physical and legal.
Physical custody gets granted to determine where the child primarily lives.
Legal custody gets granted to provide one, or both, parents decision-making power for the child.
Custody gets awarded to both parents during separation unless one parent is unfit.
An unfit parent could have a history of drug abuse, domestic violence, or child neglect.
A custody order gets issued by the judge in family court.
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
Guardianship is granted to someone other than the biological parents.
Guardianship gives that person the right to care for a minor.
Remember, custody is guardianship.
So, parents get guardianship by default.
But the courts have the ability to step in and appoint someone else as guardian.
This usually happens when the parent is unfit or absent.
Parents can maintain their parental rights even if someone has guardianship of their child.
But this is up to the judge and you may lose your parental rights.
Parental rights, here, means the parent’s rights to make important decisions about the child.
Here are some questions we regularly get in regards to guardianship vs parental rights.
Guardianship does not override parental rights.
Guardians are able to make decisions in the best interest of the child.
They can make decisions on things like:
And guardians will have custody of the child as well.
But parents do not give up their parental rights.
They can still have a say in major decisions for the child.
So, guardianship does not override parental rights.
To give guardianship to a family member, fill out a petition for guardianship.
After all parties have filled this out, file it with your local probate court.
The courts will schedule a court hearing to give guardianship to a family member.
The judge will either grant or deny giving guardianship to the family member at the hearing.
Here are the steps you can follow to sign over guardianship of your child.
Both parents will have to sign off on this guardianship agreement.
The notarization is required for legal purposes.
This lets medical personnel and others know that the guardian is in control.
You can find a Guardianship Agreement at your local family court.
Or, your family lawyer will be able to provide you with one.
They can notarize the Guardianship Agreement for you too.
Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement
Yes, a sibling can be a legal guardian as long as they are 18 years old.
The courts will default to giving the parents custody of the child.
But a sibling can be a legal guardian in cases where:
This section covers how to get custody or give up custody of a child.
When signing over custody to a family member, both parents have to agree to this.
This is because you are changing the custody arrangement.
To sign over custody to a family member, fill out a custody agreement.
File this petition to change custody with the local family courts.
The judge will approve or deny you signing over custody to a family member.
If they approve, new custody orders will be issued.
Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody
The easiest way to get temporary custody of a child that is not yours is to get “Consent Guardianship.”
This is when parents give written consent to give you temporary custody of a child.
But both parents must agree to give temporary custody.
Consent custody does not work if one parent does not consent.
This is the only way to get temporary custody unless there’s a reason to change custody.
If there is a reason to change custody, then you can file a Petition for Guardianship.
Some reasons a mother can lose custody are:
Related: Aunts Rights Child Custody
To get temporary custody of your nephew, you need to file a petition for temporary guardianship.
Temporary guardianship will give you temporary custody of your nephew.
This petition needs to either get filed in:
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This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.
We also make sure that your judgment is equitable and fair.
This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.
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