At Schank & Associates, our goal is to give anyone who comes through our doors the chance to have a fulfilling, successful life. Unfortunately, we all too often see people robbed of this chance, especially when it comes to children, elders, or disabled adults. This is why we take the matter of guardianship so seriously. We believe that those who cannot care for themselves deserve to receive the love and attention that they need, and guardianship can give them just that. There are two types of guardianship in California, one for children and one for elders or dependent adults. Both of these processes require the potential guardian to submit a number of forms and follow certain procedures (both in and out of the courtroom), all of which are designed to make certain that they are both capable and willing to assume responsibility for the care of the child or the elder. Whether you are a parent seeking to obtain a guardian for your child, an adult wishing to become a child’s guardian, or an individual seeking guardianship over your adult loved one, we are here to help you.
There are several circumstances in which the courts will appoint a guardian over a child. The boy or girl could be the victim of abuse or neglect at the hands of their biological parents or their current guardian. This situation requires immediate and forceful action to ensure that the child is removed from the harmful situation and receives the proper care. If you know a child who is not being properly cared for and you wish to take over their care, contact our office right away. We will help you initiate the process by filling out the forms that are required both by the State of California and the City of Victorville. We will also walk you through each of the steps of guardianship – the inquiry and investigations, the court hearings, the notifying of relatives, etc. This can be a daunting process, but you have already taken the admirable first step in speaking up for the child, and we will make sure you are able to see it through to the end. In our decades of experience, Schank & Associates have helped guardians protect and care for their loved ones, and we see it as our ethical duty to continue on this mission. Please contact us today at no cost to you to discuss your situation and begin the process.
While abuse or neglect is unfortunately common in Victorville, we also encounter many parents who want to care for their son or daughter but are unable to do so due to unavoidable circumstances such as military service, physical or mental illness, addiction, and a criminal conviction, or similar restraint. If you are a parent who knows that they will be unable to look after their child for a certain amount of time and you wish to give another trusted adult the right to make legal decisions for your child, we can help make that happen. Whether you will be restricted by military service, admittance to a rehabilitation facility (whether court-mandated or voluntary), time in a detention facility, or another long-term commitment, we will provide you and your child with compassion and attentiveness. By drafting a care plan for your child, we can help you make sure that their every need is cared for. We will also help you ensure that the guardian will have all the legal rights that they need to make decisions in your absence so that they can take necessary action both in everyday circumstances and in cases of emergencies.
Note that guardianship is not adoption. Granting the guardian legal rights over your child will not take away yours, and as long as you are deemed competent by the courts, your decisions will hold precedence. If the courts ruled you incompetent in the past and appointed a guardian for your child, and you wish to regain full parental control, contact us. Depending on the severity of your situation, it can be difficult to display to the judge that you are fully capable of resuming the care of your son or daughter. You must unequivocally show that you have the financial, mental, and physical means of providing for the child. Aside from the basics (income, housing, etc.), there are minute details that the judge will scrutinize. We have helped many parents through this process, and know exactly what the Victorville judges look for in incompetency evaluations, from proving your employment all the way down to your professional dress. This is not an area where you can afford to take risks, so make sure that you have solid, experienced, and passionate legal representation on your side before you enter the courtroom.
We have also helped parents prepare future guardianship orders in the event of their death. While this can be difficult to discuss, we applaud you for preparing for your child’s future and will help you cover all of the necessary details. We want to give you the peace of mind that will enable you to live a fulfilling life with your son or daughter, knowing that their life will continue safely once you are gone.
As we mentioned before, guardianship is not limited to the care of children. Elders or dependent adults must also have a trusted and capable individual to care for them. This is called conservatorship in California, and the process is similar to that of obtaining guardianship over children. The major difference is the extent to which the guardian can make decisions for the elder or dependent adult. Depending on how competent the courts find the adult, the conservator could have the full legal capacity to make financial, physical, and legal decisions for their conservatee. However, the more competent the adult is, the less legal authority the conservator will be granted. It can be difficult and stressful when your loved one is no longer able to care for themselves or their belongings, but we will make sure that every detail is adequately covered so you no longer have to worry about their estate or their well-being.