Guardianships in California

A guardianship consists of a non-parent assuming the role of parent for children who are under the age of 18. Guardianships are usually required when parents cannot care for their children owing to substance abuse problems, mental illness, or homelessness. Guardians are usually relatives of the child, and they assume all the rights of natural parents.

The guardianship process comes in three phases: consent, investigation, and court approval.

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The proposed guardians, at least one natural parent, and any children over the age of 12 must sign a consent form. Once this is done, an investigation is carried out. The proposed guardian state who is living in the home and disclose any history of substance abuse. A criminal background check is also conducted.

A social worker will then visit the home, interview the proposed guardians, children, and parents. They will then submit a written recommendation to the court.

During the approval process, the proposed guardians must attend court. The judge will read the social worker report, which the parents can object to. The court will then approve the guardianship or set the case for trial.