If you are considering becoming a legal guardian, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what this responsibility means and how it differs with the process of adoption. Our Mendocino County firm’s team at Ukiah Family Law has significant experience helping guardians apply their legal rights and within this latest post, we’ll explain more about guardianship and adoption and the major differences between them.
Guardianship has no right of inheritance
One of the leading elements to take into consideration if you’re considering guardianship is that the process does not confer upon the child rights of inheritance on a statutory basis. However, the guardian can make changes to their own wills and succession planning documents through their Mendocino County law firms to give the child legal access to inheritance.
Guardianship allows for some legal rights for the guardian
The guardianship process allows the guardian to take on some of the responsibilities of a parent. For example, the guardian will be allowed equal access to the child’s parent-teacher conferences. The guardian can also take care of the child legally, while still presenting the biological parent with the majority of the responsibilities for the child.
Adoption is a more permanent responsibility
Legal adoption is a commitment that the parent will care for the child throughout their lifetime and confers upon the adopter all the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. For example, the adopting parent will be responsible for all elements of the child’s welfare, including housing and financial assistance until the child becomes an adult.
Adopted parents have custody and visitation rights
The adopted parent, if they divorce their spouse, will have child visitation and custody rights. A guardian may retain these rights, but they are unlikely to be granted by a court in a case where a child has an adopted or biological parent also contesting their rights.
It’s important that you work with one of the qualified Mendocino County law firms to ensure your rights are protected. To discover more about the differences between guardianship and adoption, please call our offices today.