25 Feb An Intervention: A Guardian Assumes the Responsibilities of a Parent
A couple in their 50’s recently came in to our Oakland office wanting to get more information about Guardianship. They had been intermittently caring for their two grandsons, 8 and 9, since they were babies. Their daughter, the boys’ mother, had substance abuse problems; the boys had different fathers, and neither father was a steady presence in the boys’ lives. While the daughter was a college graduate, she had trouble finding and keeping a job. She had been through several treatment programs, but backpedaled when she returned to the pressures of daily life.
Time for an intervention
The grandparents were concerned about their grandsons, with whom they were very close. While the boys loved their mother, they were getting old enough to understand the behaviors. They needed the stability and consistency of a loving home with nutritious meals and structure. The grandparents didn’t want to have these boys exposed to the drugs and alcohol which fueled their daughter’s life. They knew their grandsons had seen their mother shooting up, stoned and passed out; on more than one occasion, the older boy had called the EMTs, afraid his mother had overdosed. While they continued to love and support their daughter, at this point they believed their first responsibility was to their grandsons, and it was time to intervene.
Becoming Guardians of the Person: the same responsibilities as a parent
We helped this couple prepare the legal documents to become legal Guardians of the Person for their two grandsons. A Guardian of the Person has the same responsibilities as a parent: full legal and physical custody of the child. A Guardian is responsible for:
- Food, clothing and shelter
- Safety and protection
- Physical and emotional growth
- Medical and dental care
- Education and any special needs
What is paramount: the best interest of the child
The court will look at what is in the best interest of the child to make sure the child is raised in a secure environment. A legal guardian steps in to care for a child when the parent is unable to, but the parent(s) still has parental rights and is allowed to have reasonable contact with the child, though depending on the circumstances, this may be monitored. The courts supervise the guardian and can terminate a guardianship if parents can demonstrate that they are able to take care of their child.
If you or someone you know is considering Guardianship, come in to one of California Document Preparers three Bay Area locations to get started. We help you prepare the legal documents and file them with the court.