Guardianship vs parental rights: Does guardianship override parental rights?

Parental rights, custody, or guardianship – the significance of these words often cause confusion among people. However, the difference between them is nuanced and a little complicated.

The primary difference between them is where the order of parental rights or guardianship has been created. Guardianship orders are made through probate courts where custody or parental rights orders are subjected to come from a local family court.

Therefore, for a guardian, it becomes possible to get custody of a child when a child’s biological parents still keep their parental rights. Thus, what happens when there’s a conflict of guardianship vs parental rights among both parties? Can any of them make a claim?

An overview of guardian’s right

The probate court appoints a guardian who can take care of a child’s needs and can look after him/her. Officially, parents are the first guardians of a child, but a third party can be appointed to have guardianship of a minor on account of the parent’s decree. If you happen to be the guardian of a child, then you must take all the responsibility of the child(ren) until they get to the age of maturity.

Generally, the responsibilities that a guardian has to bear, involves decisions related to health, education, and other important decisions related to a child’s better upbringing after the order enactment.

A guardian will be accountable for the care and protection of the minor child till the duration of their maturity or till the court suggests otherwise.

Analyzing parental rights

Parents who are registered partners and are married, happen to be automatically responsible for the care and protection of their child, or they happen to adopt a minor during their marriage period.

Rights of the parents emanate from the authority inherited and granted to the child’s parents. Parental rights provide legal and physical custody of a child. This clearly states that the parents have the ultimate power to make decisions for their children’s well-being and upbringing. In certain cases, parents are compelled to report to the court when they aim to conduct responsibilities over a child.

However, parental rights do not remain the same in many cases. A court can suspend or terminate parental rights for several reasons. Typically, these reasons can be the unhealthy environment of the house that affects the mental and physical health of the child.

In what cases guardianship supersedes parental rights

In many cases, where biological parents of a child do not meet court orders that are required to follow for the well-being of a child, the court appoints a guardian to take care of and make important decisions till his/her parents settle their matters and come up to a decision.

When this happens, guardianship rights often overrule parental wishes to have the custody of the minor. In these cases, parental rights are subjected to put on hold rather than suspension until the court deems it suitable to reestablish them.

Thus, the guardian will be liable for making all the important decisions for the child’s education, health, and welfare. To get further information about child custody family law, contact your local family law attorney.

How guardianship can be terminated

Similar to parental rights, guardianship rights can also be terminated for a variety of reasons. If the guardian is appointed voluntarily by the parents, the parents can take back the guardianship.

The court-appointed guardianship can also be terminated after a specific time period, which is called temporary guardianship – appointed in cases when biological parents are pursuing divorce and to refrain the minors from a custody battle, the court appoints a temporary guardian to take care of the interest of the child.

A temporary guardianship is taken as a short-term solution for certain circumstances, while permanent guardianship often supersedes parental rights. Permanent guardianship, however, does not come with a specific duration, but it can be terminated if the child’s biological parents or the court demands to terminate it.

Take away

To know who wins the authority over a child’s future after a battle of guardianship vs parental rights, the precedence largely depends on the nature of circumstances. In cases, where parental rights are terminated by the court, the guardian has the right to make the decision and vice versa.

Although, in some jurisdictions, parents and guardians share the same space of rights over a child at the same time. You should speak to the local family law attorney to find out what laws apply in your state. An experienced family law attorney will review the cases for both guardian and parental rights and then will guide you thoroughly.

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