Difference Between Guardianship vs Parental Rights

Guardianship vs Parental Rights - Difference Between Custody And Guardianship - Guardianship Vs. Parental Rights - Guardianship Versus Custody

What are the differences between guardianship vs parental rights? 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • what is guardianship vs parental rights? 
  • what’s the difference between guardianship vs parental rights?
  • does guardianship override parental rights?
  • how to give guardianship to someone
  • how to get temporary custody of a child

Let’s dig in.

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Guardianship vs Parental Rights

When we discuss guardianship vs parental rights, we will refer to parental rights as custody. 

Definition Of Guardianship

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. 

Definition Of Custody

Custody means having guardianship over a child. 

Custody is having the right and obligation to make decisions about the child’s upbringing. 

Difference Between Custody And Guardianship

Let’s talk about the difference between custody and guardianship. 

And when guardianship vs parental rights would get appointed to someone. 

What Is Custody

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

What Is Guardianship

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.

Related: How Can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child

Guardianship Of A Child

Here are some questions we regularly get in regards to guardianship vs parental rights. 

Does Guardianship Override 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:

  • medical care
  • religion
  • education

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. 

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

How To Give Guardianship To A Family Member

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. 

Related: How To Get Custody Back From A Grandparent

How Do I Sign Over Guardianship Of My Child

Here are the steps you can follow to sign over guardianship of your child. 

  1. Print out a Guardianship Agreement form. 
  2. Fill out the form and attach birth certificates. 
  3. Have the form notarized.
  4. File your Guardianship Agreement

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

Can A Sibling Be A Legal Guardian

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:

  • both parents have passed away
  • the parents are incapacitated
  • there is child neglect
  • there is child abuse
  • the parents are in jail

Custody Of Child

This section covers how to get custody or give up custody of a child. 

Signing Over Custody To A Family Member

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

How To Get Temporary Custody Of A Child That Is Not Yours

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:

  • drug abuse
  • child neglect
  • abandonment
  • violating court orders
  • unable to care for the child

Related: Aunts Rights Child Custody

How To Get Temporary Custody Of My Nephew

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:

  • the county that you live in
  • the county that your nephew lives in

Setting Up Guardianship vs Parental Rights Correctly

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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.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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