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Child Custody Guardianship

Child Custody Guardianship

When a marriage is dissolved or annulled, there usually exists a plethora of other legal problems that will arise from it. If the couple had chosen to have children during the marriage, they may have wished to decide what is best for the child when it comes to splitting custody. However, it does not always happen that parents can agree on everything that the other parent has decided for the child. Prior to a child custody case, both biological parents will have equal rights in making the decisions for the child, which may include the child's residence, health care, education, and religion. Oftentimes, one parent may not always agree with what the other parent has decided for the child. In the case that a disagreement cannot be resolved between the two parents, they may decide to take the case to court to determine who will gain child custody.

Circumstances affecting the non-custodial parent, who is seeking to gain child custody, will have often have no bearing on the child's best interest and thus, the decision of the court. Another option, which happens less often, is that a judge can appoint a legal guardianship for the child as opposed to having either of the parents look after the child. This type of child custody guardianship is usually temporary, and lasts during the period before the custody hearing proceeds and a final order can be issued.


This usually occurs when neither parent is fit to be the custodial parent, or if a parent requests that a guardianship be granted to another person, for whatever reason. A guardianship ordinarily lasts until the earliest of these events: the child reaches legal age, the child dies, the child's assets are used up, if the guardianship was set up solely for the purpose of handling the child's finances, or a judge determines that a guardianship is no longer necessary. Even if a guardianship remains in force, a guardian may step down from his or her role with permission from the court. In that case, a judge will appoint a replacement guardian.

Child custody laws can be complicated and the only precedent that will have bearing on your child custody case must come from the state in which you file your hearing. Although divorce and child custody can be very stressful, be active and do your research to ease the burden. Whether you choose to fight for child custody or request that guardianship be granted to a third party, rest assured that the court will make the decision with the best interest of your child.

NEXT: Custody Rights At Glance

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