top of page

What Is Guardianship In California?

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

How A Minor Child's Well-Being And Estate Is Handled In California

In a guardianship, a judge may grant a responsible adult control over a minor child's estate, custody of the child, or both.

Guardianships are frequently dealt with in probate court. That said, if a child is a dependent of the juvenile court, then only the court can legally name a guardian for that child. Only minors are eligible to be under guardianship. You must apply for a conservatorship if you need to take control of a disabled adult, their estate, or both.

That said, let's look at the basics of guardianship of a child in California and how it works, based on the experience of our prescreened California family lawyers.

lawyer for guardianship in california

What Is A Legal Guardian In California?

When a child is a minor and has guardianship, an individual can make choices on the child's behalf. Control is transferred from a biological or adoptive parent to another person under guardianship on a temporary or permanent-term basis. A minor's guardian is typically chosen when their legal parent becomes incapacitated, disabled, or passes away.

Informal guardianship, temporary legal guardianship, and permanent legal guardianship are the three categories of guardianship. The authority given to the guardians may include one or more of the following, depending on the form of guardianship:

  • Ensuring the upkeep and care of someone else

  • Making choices regarding finances, health, and education

  • Annually informing the court of the guardianship status

In short, guardianship transfers significant authority while the child is not legally an adult. This is crucial, and the choice of guardians could affect the child and their estate long-term. In these scenarios, it's always best to consult a lawyer for guardianship in California before making any crucial decisions.

family attorney los angeles

Probate Guardianship Of A Child In California

Guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate are the two types of guardianship for minor children. The child and the child's estate may be under the care of the same guardian. When neither parent is able nor willing to care for the child, a guardian of the person is in charge of the child's upbringing.

In this section, we'll discuss the estate aspect of guardianship in California, as detailed in Probate Code Section 1500–1611.

A guardian is usually chosen by considering the following factors:

  • The judge may choose a guardian based on a nomination, the parents' preferences, petitions for guardianship, and court proceedings.

  • If a child is 12 or older, their preference for a guardian may be taken into account, too.

  • The best interests of the child are the priority for choosing their guardian.

Since a guardian can make choices on a child's behalf, adherence to legal regulations is crucial. An investigator for the court will interview all other family members and potential witnesses before making a referral to the judge. Depending on the child's best interests, the judge may or may not appoint a guardian during the court hearing.

Again, this process can be complicated. Consult with a California guardianship attorney if you're family or applying as a child's legal guardian.

Juvenile Dependency Guardianship

A guardianship may be granted when a child becomes a dependent of the court depending on the following factors:

  • The specifics of the child's case

  • The needs of the child

  • The stage of the case when the petition for guardianship is filed

The juvenile court performs hearings every six months after a child is removed from their parents to consider placement possibilities.

The process for delinquency cases is largely the same. You can write a letter to the juvenile court judge outlining your relationship with the child, how long you've known the child, and your justifications for guardianship to ask the court for guardianship of a court dependent. You can also speak with the designated social worker or probation officer.

guardianship of a child in california is a California Bar Association Certified Free Attorney Referral Service that can refer you to the best Family Lawyer in California. You can contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case submission form) for a free initial consultation.


Best Lawyers Near Los Angeles

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

Welcome to, a Lawyer Referral and Information Service certified and approved by the California State Bar.

"Our commitment is to provide you with unbiased and impartial lawyer referrals."


Unlike other services, we maintain complete independence from the lawyers receiving these referrals, ensuring transparency and fairness.

While we specialize in California employment law and personal injury claims, we offer our referral services for various other legal areas.


At, we aim to ensure you are connected with best California attorney near you who can provide comprehensive and exceptional representation for your specific legal needs.


We understand that every legal situation is unique and are dedicated to finding the best match for you.


With our extensive network of attorneys, we strive to deliver outstanding legal support and guidance tailored to your individual requirements.

At, we hold California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.


Your satisfaction and confidence in the legal representation you receive are paramount to us.


Rest assured that when you engage in our services, you can expect nothing less than exceptional legal support and guidance.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter


The California State Bar investigates on average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys annually.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney for your case. 


Our team of experts verifies that attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 

Learn more about attorney discipline here.


Our History 


Since 2005, we have been dedicated to helping individuals find reliable legal representation in California.


We understand the challenges people face when trying to locate reputable lawyers, especially when inundated with self-promoting advertisements and biased marketing from law firms.


At our service, we strive to cut through the noise and provide a trustworthy and unbiased platform for connecting individuals with reputable California lawyers.


Our clients receive quality legal representation without the frustration and uncertainty often associated with legal advertising.

How the LRS Works 

Anyone seeking competent and honest legal representation in California, can request a FREE lawyer referral. 

Once you submit your case details online, our legal 24-hour legal department will review your claim and reply via email. Most cases are reviewed and answered within 15 minutes. 


A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

A representative will follow up a few days later via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain the status of the case. 

About lawyers from our network

California lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar, and have substantial experience in their practice area.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

  • Fair legal fees

  • Continuing education

  • Professional affiliations

Additionally, we conduct criminal  background checks and attorneys are always monitored by our service.  

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online.


Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department bypassing our call center. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via email. We respond to email inquiries within 24 hours M-F. 

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. However, our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommended that you use option # 1 above. 


Simple Retro Handyman Service Badge Logo-2.png
bottom of page