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Seeking Custody of a Child Who is Not Yours in California


Are you interested in seeking custody of a child who is not yours? Perhaps this child is a grandson or granddaughter and for some reason, their parents cannot care for them or perhaps Child Protective Services (CPS) has removed the child from their parents’ home.

Or, perhaps you want to seek custody of a niece, nephew, or your child’s friend because their parents kicked them out of the house or because the parents are unfit. If you are seeking custody of a child who is not yours, what you’re seeking is called “guardianship” in California. If the court were to appoint you as a child’s guardian, it means the court would order you to have custody of the child or manage the child’s estate, or both.

Setting Up a Probate Guardianship

If a child moves in with you and they are not living with either parent and this were to become a long-term situation, you would want to ask the court to be the child’s guardian – this is called a probate guardianship of the person. When you’re appointed as a child’s guardian, it means you can make important decisions on the child’s behalf. You can enroll them in school, take them to the doctor, apply for health insurance for the child, and so on.

Facts about guardianship in California:

  • The parents will still have parental rights, which means they can ask for reasonable visitation.
  • The guardianship can be terminated by the court if and when the parents become capable of caring for their child.
  • As a guardian, you can be supervised by the court.

If you’re seeking guardianship and the court approves your request, you’ll have to care for the child just as their parents would. You’ll be responsible for legal and physical custody of the child and for making important decisions for the child.

Who can be a guardian in California? It can be anyone. It can be friends, family, extended family, or anyone who is qualified to raise a child. To learn more about guardianship, contact Arnold Law Group, APC today.

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