Parents in California and throughout the country may encounter a situation in which they cannot take care of their children. For instance, they may be out of town for several days or weeks or be in the hospital because of a medical issue. In these and other scenarios, it may be worthwhile to grant temporary guardianship to another adult. Generally speaking, this would be necessary if the child doesn’t have another legal parent fit to act as a guardian.

Parents should think carefully when choosing a person to become a child’s temporary guardian. While the guardianship is in effect, that individual has the same power as the child’s legal parents would otherwise have. This means that he or she could make choices as to where the child goes to school or make emergency medical decisions. Therefore, it is important to choose a trustworthy person who will look out for the child’s best interest at all times.

To make the temporary custody order official, a parent will complete a temporary guardianship form and have it notarized. In some cases, it will be necessary to file it with the local, city or state government. Prior to filling out any paperwork, parents should discuss the arrangement and what they want and need until the agreement comes to an end.

Regardless of who cares for a minor, that person must protect the best interests of the child at all times. This means providing a safe and stable home life that meets his or her basic needs. Examples of a stable home life could include keeping the child in the same school district or close to friends or extended family members. It could also include using the same babysitter or the same parent greet the child at home after school. A family law attorney may be able to help create an arrangement that ensures stability for the child.