When do guardianships end in California?

In California, accepting the responsibility of being a guardian is a significant step. Those who decide to move forward with it should be aware that they will be legally obligated to ensure the child is provided for financially, personally and emotionally. The litany of decisions that are made as part of a guardianship can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially if the guardian already has a family and personal concerns. An issue that should be considered is when the guardianship will end.

Factors to consider when ending a guardianship

The guardianship can end in one of four circumstances: when the child turns 18, he or she will legally be an adult; the child could get married, be adopted, be emancipated or join the military before age 18; if the child unfortunately passes away; or if the court ends the guardianship.

The court can end a guardianship via court order. The child, the child’s parents or the guardian can ask that the guardianship be ended. Guardians do have the right to resign the position, but a court hearing is needed and any of the child’s relatives who were informed of the guardianship must also be told that the guardian wants to end the arrangement.

As with most child-related issues, best interests are a fundamental factor. The guardian must show a judge that the child’s best interests will be served through the resignation. Perhaps the child and the parents want to live together again. The judge will need to see that the situation is safe, stable and the child will be provided for. Children over age 12 could have a say in living arrangements.

Understanding guardianships may require legal assistance

Guardians are trusted with the care and nurturing of a minor child. This is a noble endeavor that should be commended. Every situation, however, is different and if circumstances arise where there is a desire for the guardianship to end, it is imperative to understand how to move forward with that process and if it will benefit the child by doing so. For assistance with these complicated legal issues involving children, it can be helpful to have legal advice. Calling for a consultation and representation can be useful with guardianships.