Let’s say that two parents are in drug rehabilitation for abusing drugs and you, the grandparent, are watching over the children. If the children are only residing in your home for a few weeks or months, you may not need a guardianship. However, if you anticipate that the children will be with you for more than a few months or years, you should adopt a legal guardianship into your lifestyle. Without a guardianship, you may run into some legal aspects such as not being able to register the child in school, not being able to arrange for medical care, and the inability to receive benefits for the child. If the parents demand custody of the children and you have no guardianship in place, they can legally take them back and you cannot stop them.
What Happens When You do Not Want to be Guardian
Sometimes, a guardianship may not be in the picture for you and you may wonder if you have other options. In many cases, you are prevented from being a guardian because the child’s parents will not consent or the dynamics between family members may set off a custody battle. You could essentially raise the children without a guardianship, but you may run into problems. For example, here in California, you cannot enroll a child in school or make medical decisions for the children unless you go to court. You should always be aware of the laws in your state as well as speak to an attorney when you are unsure of your options and want to continue care for children.
In some situations, a parent may have to establish legal guardianship of their own child. If the child receives a significant amount of property, for instance, a parent must become a “guardian of the estate.” The parents will then become directly accountable to show the court how certain funds are spent and invested. This is something you must speak about to an attorney if the situation calls for it.