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Could I lose custody by giving guardianship to the grandmother?2 Jan 2017

A time may arise in your life when you have trouble making ends meet. You struggle to pay the bills, and your children often suffer. You may think that giving temporary guardianship to the grandmother is a solid solution. Here, we offer advice and things you should think of before deciding to do so.

What is guardianship

Guardianship is when another individual who is not the child’s parent has legal custody over the child. This person will make all decisions concerning the child and has a legal responsibility to do so. The guardian can also decide whether or not to let the child see you.

In some states, if a person provides support and care for a child for more than a year, the court can give them the same rights that you have. If the child is under three years of age, they only need care for the child for six months before the court can decide this. They may end up with the child until they are eighteen years of age. To get them back, you would probably have to take them to court and prove they would be better off coming back to you.

Types of guardianship

There are many different types and levels of guardianship. The guardian may not necessarily be the grandparent or even a relative depending on the type the child is under.

1. Guardian of the person: This person handles everything for the child other than the finances and property.

2. Guardian ad litem: This person handles a child’s interest during legal affairs.

3. Emergency guardian: If there is an immediate emergency such as child abuse, this person is appointed for emergency guardianship. This is generally temporary until a permanent guardian can be determined.

4. Plenary guardianship: This person takes care of most decisions concerning the child unless defined by the court.

5. Guardian of the estate: A guardian of the estate ensures the child’s finances and property are taken care of properly. Child celebrities often have this type of guardian.

6. Limited guardian: This person would be given authority over only one aspect of the child’s life. For example, if the child needs a medical procedure that the parent’s don’t agree with, the doctor may be designated by the court as a limited guardian if it’s in the interest of the child.

7. Interim guardian: This is a person who is allocated as the child’s guardian until a permanent guardian can be found.

There are many different types of guardians. Depending on the type of guardianship the grandmother holds helps determine returning custody to the parent. The reasons for the guardianship play a big role in this decision.

Reasons parents may be removed as guardians

For a court to remove parents as guardians, there should be a specific reason. Abuse, neglect, abandonment or consent to terminate are reasons the judge may decide upon termination. If a parent has committed sexual assault or caused death to a child, these are good reasons.

Alternatives to guardianship

There are alternatives to giving someone guardianship. You can designate someone as power of attorney. They can live with that individual and attend school, but you still retain your rights as a parent. They’re also allowed to get the child medical care if needed. An attorney can help you fill out the forms you need for power of attorney. You can also terminate power of attorney at any time.


As stated, the reasons the grandparent has guardianship will affect a court’s decision. Typically, you must be proven unfit to lose custody of your child. If you find yourself in a situation of this magnitude, give us a call, and we can help keep your parental rights intact and keep your child with you.

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