Forms for Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor

By Teo Spengler - Updated March 24, 2017

If you are going out of town for a short period and want to leave your child with another adult, use a temporary guardianship form to authorize that person to take care of your child. Use a simple, one-page form for this short-term arrangement, one you prepare yourself or find online.

Temporary Guardianship

If you are the parent of a minor child, you have a responsibility to keep him safe and care for him. If you are leaving town for a short period or going in for medical procedures, you may decide to leave your child in the care of a trusted friend or other responsible adult who will provide the required care.

Though this relationship is short-term and informal, it's a good idea to use a written authorization giving the child's temporary guardian the right to care for your child and make decisions for him. For example, the guardian needs legal permission to deal with any medical, dental and other heath care issues.

The guardian will appreciate having a written statement about financial and living arrangements. Generally the parent agrees to foot the bill for any expenses incurred.

Form for Guardianship Authorization

You won't have to spend hours filling out forms to authorize this temporary guardianship. A one-page form will do. Prepare it yourself or use one of the Temporary Guardianship for Care of Minor forms available online. Nolo, for example, offers one you can use or buy.

If you want to create your own, start with language identifying yourself, your child and the temporary guardian. Set out the length of time the short-term guardianship will last, where the child will live and go to school, and the name and phone numbers of the medical professionals the child sees. Specify the financial arrangements.

Add your contact information while you are away. Also include emergency contact numbers of a relative or close friend in case the guardian cannot reach you.

Finally, sign and date the authorization and have the guardian sign as well, signifying that she agrees to the arrangement. Each of you should retain a copy of the guardianship authorization.

Legal Guardianship

An informal short-term guardianship authorization should not be confused with the legal guardianship of a minor. When a child is neglected, abandoned or in danger, the court appoints a legal guardian to take care of the child and make day-to-day decisions concerning the child's well-being.

During the time it takes to complete the many forms and finalize the appointment, the court can appoint a temporary guardian to fill in for up to 30 days. This is a much more serious and complex procedure than arranging for short-term guardianship authorization.

About the Author

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. World traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.

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