Parents are usually present 24/7 to take care of their children but sometimes there are instances when parents can’t physically take care of their children. This is usual for most single parents who need to work full-time in order to support their families. This is when a temporary guardian is needed to alleviate’s the parent/s worry of having someone trustworthy to take care of their child. Having a temporary guardianship agreement allows a child to live with another person other than their parents. If you’re a parent reading this article, it’s best to prepare for these things just in case you might need help from a guardian. Read the article to know more about the meaning of temporary guardianship and what to do before signing the temporary guardian agreement form.
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What is Temporary Guardianship?
A temporary guardianship is a formal procedure for parents to formally turn over the care of their children to another adult for a specific period of time. Some parents will do this for several reasons that will be discussed further in this article.
A temporary guardian serves as the surrogate parent for your children during your absence so make sure that when you select a temporary guardian it is someone you trust completely and who is competent and willing to take care of your children. Make sure also that the guardian is someone your children are comfortable being with for a period of time. Usually, relatives, grandparents, godparents, and even adult siblings can take the role of temporary guardians for young children, but sometimes parents can also choose a close friend to be a guardian as well.
When Is Temporary Guardianship Needed?
It depends on the situation when a temporary guardianship is needed. If your partner is available to take care of your children while you are unable to, you don’t need to establish a temporary guardianship. However, if both of you or if you are a single parent and are unable to do it, then you can ask someone you trust and close to you to take care of your children. There are several reasons why a parent/parents need help from a temporary guardian to watch over their children. Some reasons include:
- Incapacitation: If the parent or both parents are unfortunately sick or have been in an accident. The temporary guardian will resume the responsibility of the parent/parents until they recover.
- Substitution: If the parent/s need to go out of the country for business or work reasons, a temporary guardian is needed to look over the children while the parent/s are away.
- Emergency: If the parent/s have an emergency and couldn’t fully take care of their children, they can ask a guardian to look over the children until the emergency is over.
How to Make a Temporary Guardianship Official
1. Selecting a Temporary Guardian
Selecting your designated temporary guardian is not a compulsive thing to do. In addition to evaluating how they would take care of your children, you also have to consider their other family and work obligations. When you finally decided on who you selected to become the temporary guardian, discuss with them your wishes for the care of your children and ask them if they are willing to take that role and commit to it.
2. Discussing the Guardianship
Once the person you designated agreed to be the official temporary guardian for your children, it’s time to discuss the guardianship; their responsibilities that they need to do while your children are under their care. Here are some things you need to discuss with your temporary guardian:
- Determine the length of time the temporary arrangement will cover.
- Discuss how you will communicate with each other especially if you’re out of town or out of the country for work or emergencies.
- Discuss the schedules you expect the children to follow, such as school, meals, chores, and bedtimes. Share any extracurricular or social activities your children participate in.
- Inform the guardian about the child’s medical history, recent medical care, and any medical concerns.
- If the temporary guardianship may take a long time, you need to notify your children’s school and physician about emergency contact information.
- Don’t forget to discuss the financial terms of taking care of your children. You need to provide your guardian allowance to help support your children.
3. Make the Arrangement Official
Even though some families don’t need to fill out a temporary guardianship agreement form especially if the guardian is a relative, the form is sometimes imperative especially if you’ll be gone for long periods of time. In most states, you need to fill out the agreement form and have it notarized and make sure you and your guardian keep a notarized copy on hand. This may seem much to some but having a notarized agreement form at bay ensures that your child’s guardian will be able to secure quick medical treatment or make other important decisions for your child in your absence especially in cases of emergency.
What is the difference between temporary custody and temporary guardianship?
The difference between custody and guardianship is that custody only applies to the child’s parents; custody is provided to the child’s biological parents while guardianship is given to a non-biological parent such as relatives or close family friends.
How many guardians can a child have?
There is actually no limit to the number of guardians that the parents will designate to their children but most parents only list at most three people.
Make sure that the person you assign to be your temporary guardian is completely willing to take care of your children whenever you need their help. Having an agreement form can motivate them to help you out since you have an official agreement that they are responsible for your children. Making an agreement form is not too complicated; in fact, you can check out the sample agreement form templates provided above the article. They are free and easy to download so you can download as many forms to serve as your reference.
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