Written by Canterbury Law Group

Guardianship Versus Custody


Custody and guardianship are not the same thing. Although they are not interchangeable, both are made to ensure that kids receive the care they need.

There are other characteristics that set the two apart, but the primary distinction is that custody is usually based on parentage.

A legal guardian: what is it?

A person designated by a court to look after a child and make decisions that are best for them is known as a legal guardian. The phrase’s legal component is not always required; it merely indicates that the guardian has been approved by a judge.

Each type of legal guardian has different authority and responsibilities.

A person’s guardian is in charge of a child’s welfare and makes decisions on the child’s behalf. The guardian is responsible for providing for the child’s basic needs, including food, housing, healthcare, and education.
The guardian of the estate is in charge of a child’s money. Guardianship of the person and the estate is typically assigned to the same guardian.
A foster parent is an example of a temporary guardian, or interim guardian. Compared to guardians of the person and of the estate, they have less authority, and they must obtain the consent of the court before taking certain actions on behalf of the child.
By default, parents are their children’s guardians. However, a court may name a guardian for a child whose parent is absent or unfit to raise them.

After a guardian is appointed, parents typically keep their parental rights and may petition to take on the role of guardian once more.

What is a caretaker?

A child is under the custodian’s custody. Usually, they are the child’s parents, but they could also be relatives or someone else who has a close relationship with the child.

Physical and legal custodians are the two categories of custodians.

The parent who resides with the child and is responsible for their primary care is the physical custodian. When parents share physical custody, they both have to put in a lot of time caring for the child.
The parent with the power to make decisions on behalf of their child is known as the legal custodian. When parents have joint legal custody, they can decide jointly or separately.
Parents have the option to jointly draft a parenting plan that specifies their custody agreement.

The distinctions between custody and guardianship
States differ in how they define guardianship and custody. However, generally speaking, the primary distinctions between the two are who can fill each role, what those roles entail, and how long the arrangement will last.

As previously discussed, guardianship is assigned to an individual other than a parent, whereas custody is given to parents or someone with a parental relationship.

Guardians have more limitations than legal custodians, who make all significant decisions for a child. A guardian typically only makes routine decisions that have an impact on the welfare and care of the child.

Final custody orders are regarded as permanent, even though a court may alter custody at any point until the child reaches legal maturity. In contrast, guardianship is frequently a transient arrangement. A parent may designate a guardian while they are ill, for example.

Comparisons between custody and guardianship
The terms custody and guardianship have a lot in common. Both are established by a court and pertain to legal relationships with children.

The daily responsibilities of a custodian and a guardian typically don’t differ all that much. These consist of:

supplying the child with food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, and education
Keeping the youngster safe
The child’s best interest is always the court’s primary consideration when selecting a guardian or custodian.

Speak With Our Guardianship Lawyers in Arizona

Contact Canterbury Law Group today if you need an experienced child custody lawyer or guardianship lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Arizona to help with your case. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711

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