Sometimes situations arise when children need to be put in a better situation. Parental figures in the child’s life may need to take over custody to provide better circumstances for their lives. In those situations, many parental figures often are confused by the difference between guardianship and custody. In this article, you will learn the difference between guardianship and custody and how this may affect your relationship with a child and your relationship with the child’s parents.
What is the difference between guardianship and custody?
Many times, the terms custody, guardianship, and adoption can be confusing. The differences in these topics include many gray areas and can be a bit complicated. When parental figures want the best given the child’s circumstances, these terms need to be distinguished before going to court for legal action.
If you become a child’s guardian, you will have legal rights and responsibilities to take care of the child until they are no longer a minor. In a court setting, guardianship can often be a request because a minor child needs another parental figure to make legal decisions for them. However, according to Boyd Law, the child’s parents continue to retain parental rights and responsibilities.
The term custody refers to the legal arrangement that specifies who cares for and makes legal decisions for a minor child. Custody often becomes a topic when parents are divorcing or separating.
Custody describes two entities, legal or physical. Physical custody is where the child will live, go to school, and reside during most of the year. Legal custody allows parents to make decisions for their children, including their education, healthcare, and religion.
The main difference between guardianship and custody
While the terms custody and guardianship often become intertwined in conversation, there is a big difference. The central difference between custody and guardianship is that custody is a legal agreement concerning the parent-child relationship. In contrast, guardianship involves finding additional support for parents who are not physically able or stable enough to care for themselves or their children. Thus, resulting in legal action for other parental figures in the child’s life to take guardianship to make legal decisions for them as a minor.
Adoption is another term within this realm that can complicate the difference between guardianship and custody. Adoption allows the birth mother to make decisions for her child, resulting in legal complications. In some cases, adoptive parents will retain both custody and guardianship over the child. However, the legal rights of the birth mother are still intact if this is what she requests. Guardianship is usually temporary unless the birth mother requests otherwise.
As a parental figure or adoptive parent, these terms must be set straight to understand court requirements or requests. You should seek legal advice from an attorney before making any decisions within the court systems. An attorney will help you make the best decision for you, the child, and the child’s birth mother or family.
Even though these terms can have complicated outcomes, decisions must be made carefully. Additionally, keeping all parties’ interests and wishes in mind. Knowing the difference between these terms will help you through court systems, regulations, and requests. However, the child’s best interests should be the main priority.