Does Guardianship Override Parental Rights? An Overview

Murphy & Rudolf, LLP Offers Some Insight About the Question: Does Guardianship Override Parental Rights?

Family dynamics are highly sensitive and delicate matters that we know can be very challenging. The team of family law attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP over the many years of experience, have seen it all and know how to handle each case that comes across their desks with compassion and expertise to make sure your rights as a parent or guardian, and the best interests of the child are protected.

The question, “does guardianship override parental rights?” is one that both guardians and parents have asked us in the past. And it’s an important question. At its core, the answer is: yes, guardianship overrides parental rights. However, there is a lot that can get confused when it comes to guardianship, and the question of whether or not guardianship overrides parental rights is part of a larger conversation.

If you or someone you love is in need of legal support with a delicate family matter, Murphy & Rudolf, LLP has an experienced team of family law attorneys that can offer thorough and compassionate legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case: (508) 570-3037.

What Is the Role of a Guardian for a Child?

Guardianship can be confused with a caregiver. Becoming a caregiver is a simple process that does not need to be filed in court, that allows the caregiver to make “educational and medical decisions without talking to the parent first.” Guardians, however, are given full custody of a child, affording them the power to make decisions about any aspect of the child’s well-being.

However, while the guardian takes full responsibility for the child and is legally allowed to make decisions about all aspects of the child’s life, when it comes to the parents’ rights, context matters. So does guardianship override parental rights? Below we dive in.

How and When Does One Gain Guardianship?

Legal guardianship can happen in a few different ways, and generally, guardianship's are not granted unless:

  • the parents voluntarily consent
  • the parents have abandoned the child, or
  • a judge finds that it would be detrimental to the child for the parents to have custody.

In contexts where the parents object to guardianship, a lawyer can help argue suitability. Our attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP know how to advocate for a guardianship when it’s necessary to protect children and how to defend against allegations that put a parent’s right to raise their child at risk. We can also help in consensual guardianship arrangements wherein we can help make sure the parents’ rights are still intact and can still play a role in the child’s life.

Does Guardianship Override Parental Rights?

As we said before, the short answer to the question, “does guardianship override parental rights?” is yes. Ultimately the legal guardian has custody of the child and is responsible both in care and decision making. So even if the parent still has the right to be present in the child’s life, that doesn’t necessarily give them decision-making rights, especially in cases where guardianship was assigned not through parental consent.

If you are in a position where you need legal support in regards to guardianship, we can provide diligent representation and legal advice for cases regarding guardianship of a minor. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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