California Laws on the Temporary Guardianship of Children

By Jonita Davis
Temporary guardians are often members of the child's extended family.

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When the living arrangement of minors is jeopardized by pending legal issues, the courts have the authority to appoint a temporary home and supervisor for the kids. This is called temporary guardianship. The purpose is to ensure that the children are well taken care of throughout the court proceedings. Temporary guardians are used in family court cases, such as custody disputes, divorces and abuse cases. The courts also use them probate and criminal case.

Initiating the Procedure

Temporary guardianships are initiated by petitioning the court. A judge or magistrate decides if the child needs a temporary guardian and also who that guardian will be. The petition includes the name of the child, the current parents or guardian, your suggestion for a temporary guardian and the reason for petition. In the state of California, anyone close to the child can petition the court for guardianship.

Types of Guardians

Although anyone close to the child can petition, the courts will only award temporary guardianship to a particular person. Suitable guardians in the state of California are adults who are financially and physically capable of caring for themselves and the child. The guardian is someone who is capable of discerning and acting on the best interest of the child. Felons, sex offenders and complete strangers outside of the foster care system are not suitable.

Removing the Order

A temporary guardianship order does have an expiration date. That date can be extended by the courts, but ultimately, this type of guardianship does come to an end. At a disposition hearing, the court will remove the temporary order after hearing evidence presented by the state, the parents and the petitioner. The child will be placed with another guardian, foster care, a group home or with another adult.

Permanent Placement

Parents can have permanent guardianship returned to them upon completing all of the court's requirements. The parent's rights may also be permanently revoked and the child adopted. Adoption to the foster parents or another family is a form of permanent placement, as well. Children are often placed in the care of relatives who serve as permanent guardians.

About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.