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For questions about guardianships, please see the Judicial Council website at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-guardianship.htm for an overview of what this process is about and the difference between guardianship and adoption. This process does not apply to anyone who is 18 years old, or over. You are encouraged to review the duties of a guardian at http://www.courts.ca.gov/1211.htm for a full understanding of what will be expected of the guardians.

Although we can help you with the guardianship of the person only, we do not prepare guardianships of children with estates and will refer you to other resources for this guidance.

Guardianships are complicated and can require several hours to prepare the necessary papers, particularly if a temporary guardianship is required. If both parents agree to this proceeding then a temporary order may not be necessary and therefore less costly. Otherwise an investigation is ordered and those fees are posted on your court’s website.

Before your appointment at S.O.S. please create your written story (in chronological order) as to why this guardianship is necessary and gather all documents, evidence, or testimony to support your story.

In addition to the full name and address/location of the lawful parents, also needed are all of the names and addresses of the second degree relatives of the child(ren) which are:

Paternal grandparents
Maternal grandparents
Siblings (regardless of age, including ½ siblings)

Parents MUST be given at least 5 days’ notice of a guardianship proceeding unless giving notice would not be in the child’s best interest. In our local court the Petitioner is questioned at length as to why parent(s) should not be given notice before agreeing that it would be detrimental to the child(ren). If you are uncertain as to the location of a second degree relative, you must make a diligent effort to locate that party (and keep written track of your efforts) or provide evidence or testimony as to why you believe the court should dispense notice to that party.

Please plan in advance and set aside 2-3 hours for your initial appointment, bringing with you as much information as possible.

Children matter.