After you become guardian, you have most of the same legal duties and responsibilities as a parent.
Click on a topic to learn more about:
- What happens after the hearing?
- Do I need to stay in touch with the Court?
- What is a blocked account?
- Am I responsible for supporting the child?
- Am I responsible for the child’s behavior and any damages the child may cause?
- Can I let the child stay with his/her parents or anyone else?
- Do I decide about the parents’ contact with the child?
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE HEARING?
If the Court appoints you as guardian of the person or estate, a Court Investigator will give you an orientation after the hearing.
The orientation tells you about what the Court expects you to do. You will also get a handbook called Probate Guardianships: Rights and Responsibilities.
DO I NEED TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE COURT?
Yes. Every year, you must file the a Guardianship Status Report form (GC-251 ) with the court.
If the Court has any concerns, you will be contacted.
If you are a Guardian of the child’s Estate, you must file an accounting one year after you become guardian then every other year thereafter unless the court tells you otherwise, until the minor reaches age 18, at which point a final accounting may be due.
WHAT IS A BLOCKED ACCOUNT?
A blocked account is when a bank, brokerage firm or other financial institution says no withdrawals can be made without a Court order. Often, an account will stay blocked until the child turns 18.
AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPPORTING THE CHILD?
In most cases, the biological parents still have the legal responsibility for supporting their child. If the parents don’t help support the child, you can take legal action to get child support. But, if you can’t get support, you are responsible for supporting the child.
Department of Child Support Services
1055 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Or call them at:
You may be able to get help from the government, like TANF, Social Security, Veterans Administration, or Indian Child Welfare Benefits.
For more information, contact:
Orange County Social Services Agency
800 N. Eckhoff St.
Orange, CA 92868
Social Security Administration:
Remember: Any money you get for the child must be used for that child's benefit. The Court may ask you to file reports from time to time showing how much money you received for the child and how it was spent. The Court calls this kind of report an accounting.
AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD’S BEHAVIOR AND ANY DAMAGES THE CHILD MAY CAUSE?
Yes, in most cases, guardians, like parents are responsible for any harm or damages the child causes intentionally, including graffiti.
There are special rules about harm caused by firearms. If you are concerned about liability, talk to a lawyer.
CAN I LET THE CHILD STAY WITH HIS/HER PARENTS OR ANYONE ELSE?
Just like a parent, you can allow the child to stay with relatives or friends for periods of time. But during the guardianship, your home is the child’s permanent place of residence, and you are always responsible for overseeing the child’s care and welfare, even if the child is not always with you.
DO I DECIDE ABOUT THE PARENTS’ CONTACT WITH THE CHILD?
In general, yes. You get to make appropriate decisions. But, the Court can order you to allow visitation.
If you are worried about the child’s safety, ask the Court for supervised visitation.