What Do Courts Consider in Appointing a Personal Guardian for a Child?

The naming of a guardian for your minor child in California is one of the most important components of your overall estate plan and it is necessary that you think this through carefully and with the support of an estate planning professional to verify it’s the right choice for you. The best interests of the child is the guiding legal principle that determines any legal actions relating to minors and their caretakers.

Courts consider a number of different facts and these same factors should be considered when you are deciding on the right person to be named as a guardian and alternate guardian. These facts include:

  • The quality of the existing relationship between the child and any adults that are being considered for the role of guardian.
  • The child’s preferences so long as they are old enough and able to express these.
  • Which party is best able to address the particular needs of any child?
  • Whether or not the personal guardian appointed or named will provide the best continuity and stability of care for your child.
  • The moral conduct and fitness of proposed guardians.

Courts can also be swayed by situations in which the party who has been nominated has spent a lot of time with the child and has an existing relationship. As you can see, there are many complex factors involved in naming or even serving as the guardian for a minor child. Take care when making decisions about who will be placed in this role.

For more information about naming a guardian for your minor children, you’ll need to discuss this with the other parent where possible and schedule a consultation with an estate planning professional in Pasadena.    

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