Can Grandparents Be Guardians of Their Grandchildren?

Can Grandparents Be Guardians of Their Grandchildren?

There are a vast number of reasons why grandparents might want to seek legal guardianship of their grandchildren, such as the death of the parents, or termination of their parental rights. Whatever the reason may be, it is possible for grandparents to obtain these rights under certain circumstances and, in some cases, it might even be permanent. If you are planning to seek guardianship of your grandchildren, you should seek the experienced legal guidance of a family law attorney who is adept in handling such cases. In the meantime, take a moment to learn more about this process.

The Duration

Grandparents can be granted permanent guardianship if the parents of the children are deceased or if the parents’ rights were terminated. Generally, once the children reach the age of majority, the guardianship relationship will end, though it is possible to have it extended if the grandchildren have certain medical, emotional, or financial needs.

Making Decisions

Legal guardians are typically granted the ability to make decisions regarding their grandchildren’s medical needs, schooling, and finances. Grandparents with legal guardianship over their grandchildren can also file lawsuits and apply for Social Security on their behalf. If the parents are still living, however, the grandparents cannot change the names of the grandchildren without consent.

Responsibilities

There are also several responsibilities associated with legal guardianship. Grandparents who have been granted guardianship are entrusted with managing their grandchildren’s finances, for example. Additionally, grandparents might have to take care of their grandchildren’s expenses out-of-pocket, though this is generally only the case if they have permanent guardianship. In some cases, the parents of the child might be required to pay child support to grandparents with legal guardianship.

Parental Rights

Guardianship does not take away the rights of the parents to visit their children, unless the court already terminated these rights. However, the court or grandparents might restrict the scope of their visits and other forms of interaction they might have with their children. Additionally, guardianship can be terminated at any time by the court. If the guardianship arrangement was made voluntarily, the parents can choose to end the agreement at any time as well.

Orange County Grandparents’ Rights Attorney

If you are seeking to obtain guardianship of your grandchildren, it is critical to secure skilled legal assistance from an attorney who has experience in handling such matters. At The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague, our grandparents’ rights attorney in Orange County has more than 35 years of experience and will fight diligently on your behalf to secure the best outcome.

Get started on your case and call our office today at (714) 888-4830 to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.

Categories: Family Law

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