Guardian Or Custody? Which Option Should You Choose?


In some cases, parents have to make hard decisions with regard to child's custody. You may have to relinquish the custody of your child for any number of reasons, whether it is due to incarceration, financial instability, and the like. If you are in this position, you may want to consider guardianship rather than giving up custody. Although similar, the two concepts have different rights associated with them and you should seek the advice of a custody attorney. Here are some things you need to know:

Who Has Decision-Making Power?

When it comes to making decisions, there are some differences between guardianship and custody. A person who has legal custody has the right to make all important legal decisions regarding the child, including medical care, education, and where the child resides. A guardian is one who will provide for the child on a daily basis and make basic decisions, such as making sure the child gets to and from school. A guardian has no legal right to make any sort of legal decisions without permission of the parent with custody.

How Long is Custody and Guardianship?

A child's custody time can change at any point with a custody medication if the time change benefits the child. There is no time frame for when custody starts and stops. A guardian is either a permanent or a temporary situation. You often see guardianship in emergencies. If a guardian is a permanent situation, the guardianship is over when the child becomes a legal adult. In temporary guardianship, the custodial parent or a judge determines when it is over.

Who Chooses a Custodian or Guardian?

A custody arrangement is decided in the court. A parent cannot make changes to a custody agreement without going to court. While a parent can make requests, the judge has the final say. In guardianship, the parents or the court can decide who to appoint. If you know you may become homeless and the child does not have another parent in the picture, you can appoint a guardian for the child until your situation improves.

Does a Custodian or Guardian Have to Be Related to the Child?

In either custody or guardianship, the child does not have to be related to the person chosen to take on either role. The person only has to have a vested interest in the well-being of the child. The court likes to have relatives step up in either position, though that is not always possible. The judge will look at the relationship between the child and the potential guardian or custodian to help decide if it is an ideal situation for everyone.


17 September 2019

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