(888) 291-2393 [email protected]
Lottalegal Logo Green

Guardianship VS Custody: What’s the difference?

Home » Guardianship VS Custody: What’s the difference?
Published: April 18, 2022
Guardianship VS Custody
You must agree with us on the general thought that every child deserves to be raised in a home where he or she is nourished and showered with the love from both the parents. Sadly, that doesn’t apply to all kids.

Parents’ divorce, Sudden death, incapacitation, and Brutal abandonment can force a child to grow up in challenging situations where they might have to indulge with conditions including courts, lawyers, etc., at a very young age.

Well, unfortunately, this is what is happening most often these days. However, despite getting caught up in situations like these, most people are not familiar with the legal terms concerning the legal responsibility of a child. We understand that it is easy to get puzzled by terms like Guardianship and Custody.

Although “Guardianship and Custody” are related to the legal appointment of an individual for the responsibility of a child, these terms are still quite different from each other.

Let us walk through what these terms actually mean and how they are different from each other.

What Is a Legal Guardianship?

After comprehending the “best interest of a child,” the judge appoints a person, i.e., ” Legal Guardian,” to look after and take care of that child providing that person the “Legal Guardianship.” Here the term “Legal Guardian” highlights that the individual is seen as the rightful person responsible for the upbringing of a child in the eyes of law.
Usually, relatives like grandparents, uncles, and aunts get legal Guardianship. However, a third party can also get Guardianship of the Child.

Usually, a Child might require Guardianship due to:

  • Parents’ death, or
  • Willingly abandonment of the child by the parents, or
  • The reason that parents’ unable to take care of the child in the eyes of the Court, or
  • Parents unavailability for the child due to other significant causes like being in jail, suffering from severe disease, under some treatment, etc.

Under the scenarios mentioned above, the Court can give the responsibility of a child:

  • Temporarily
  • Permanently

Temporary Guardianship of a child is permitted only when the parents are incapable of taking care of the child for the measured amount of time. It is also called Emergency guardianship or Interim Guardianship. Therefore, it is allotted to the legal guardian only for a specific time.

Temporary guardianship/Interim guardianship is usually provided to foster parents. In cases where foster parents are required, those who have the facilities for a secure upbringing volunteer to become “Foster Parents” for children.

Permanent Guardianship of a child usually lasts till the child enters their adult years and is capable of taking care of themselves. In some cases, Permanent Guardianship can last up to a guardian’s lifetime too.

Requirements to Be a Guardian :

  • Adult(18+)
  • Mentally healthy
  • No history of felony
  • A resident of the United States

You should know that Guardianship is not just restricted to a child’s well-being; it can also include other responsibilities. We can narrow it down based on the duties of a guardian;

  • Person’s Guardianship:
  • Under this, due to the inability of the child to make their own decisions, a guardian has rights to take essential decisions in place of that child. Along with this, the guardian has to provide basic needs like education, food, shelter, and manage the child’s expenses.

  • Estate’s Guardianship:
  • As per the Estate’s Guardianship, the guardian needs to manage the child’s finances and look after the child’s property.

    Not only children but adults can also require Guardianship in the following cases;

  • An adult is physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves
  • An adult’s life is at risk and requires third-person supervision to save their life
  • In these scenarios, Guardianship is termed Adult guardianship.

    After comprehending the “best interest of a child,” the judge appoints a person, i.e., ” Legal Guardian,” to look after and take care of that child providing that person the “Legal Guardianship.” Here the term “Legal Guardian” highlights that the individual is seen as the rightful person responsible for the upbringing of a child in the eyes of law.
    Usually, relatives like grandparents, uncles, and aunts get legal Guardianship. However, a third party can also get Guardianship of the Child.

    Usually, a Child might require Guardianship due to:

    • Parents’ death, or
    • Willingly abandonment of the child by the parents, or
    • The reason that parents’ unable to take care of the child in the eyes of the Court, or
    • Parents unavailability for the child due to other significant causes like being in jail, suffering from severe disease, under some treatment, etc.

    Under the scenarios mentioned above, the Court can give the responsibility of a child:

    • Temporarily
    • Permanently

    Temporary Guardianship of a child is permitted only when the parents are incapable of taking care of the child for the measured amount of time. It is also called Emergency guardianship or Interim Guardianship. Therefore, it is allotted to the legal guardian only for a specific time.

    Temporary guardianship/Interim guardianship is usually provided to foster parents. In cases where foster parents are required, those who have the facilities for a secure upbringing volunteer to become “Foster Parents” for children.

    Permanent Guardianship of a child usually lasts till the child enters their adult years and is capable of taking care of themselves. In some cases, Permanent Guardianship can last up to a guardian’s lifetime too.

    Requirements to Be a Guardian :

    • Adult(18+)
    • Mentally healthy
    • No history of felony
    • A resident of the United States

    You should know that Guardianship is not just restricted to a child’s well-being; it can also include other responsibilities. We can narrow it down based on the duties of a guardian;

    • Person’s Guardianship:

    Under this, due to the inability of the child to make their own decisions, a guardian has rights to take essential decisions in place of that child. Along with this, the guardian has to provide basic needs like education, food, shelter, and manage the child’s expenses.

    • Estate’s Guardianship:

    As per the Estate’s Guardianship, the guardian needs to manage the child’s finances and look after the child’s property.

    Not only children but adults can also require Guardianship in the following cases;

    • An adult is physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves
    • An adult’s life is at risk and requires third-person supervision to save their life

    In these scenarios, Guardianship is termed Adult guardianship.

    Also Read: Notary Public V/S Loan Signing Agent, What’s The Difference?

    Our Notarization Process

    1. Fill up the online application with your details.

    2. Upload Your Documents

    3. Get Approved and Receive your Documents On Your Email.

    What is Child Custody?

    Unlike Guardianship, usually, Custody comprises the passage of responsibility to one of the child’s parents. Having said that, in exceptional cases, the Court can also give child Custody to a family member or a very close person to the child. Basically, the individual who holds the Custody of a child is called a Custodian.

    When the child’s parents get separated or divorced, apparently, both parents cannot manage to be physically present and look after the child simultaneously. Therefore, to manage the better raising of the child, the Court comes up with a legal arrangement for the parents.

    Fundamentally, Custody is of 2 types:

    • Physical Custody
    • Legal Custody

    Physical Custody gives the legal right to the Parent to stay with their child. The physical custodial parent manages the child’s living arrangement, takes care of the child’s health, provides them food, etc.

    Legal Custody gives the legal responsibility to the Parent to make crucial decisions on behalf of the child. The decisions could be related to what religion a child can opt for, which school they should go or other healthcare decisions.

    On the bases of the authorities allotted by the Court to the Parent, Custody can also be classified into:

    • Partial Custody
    • Full Custody

    In some cases, a Parent can get Partial Custody which means they can have physical Custody of the Child, but the other Parent is chosen as a Legal Custodian by the Court, and vice versa is also true.

    When the Court sees that a parent is capable of taking care of the physical and legal responsibility of the child, they can also be given Full Custody of the Child. In such a condition, the other Parent cannot meet or even interfere in the child’s life without the consent of the Full Custodial Parent.

    Shared Custody:

    In cases where both the parents are on mutual grounds and the Court also sees both the parents as responsible parties, parents can also share the Custody of the Child.

    Further, parents can also share the physical responsibility of the child, which means the child can live with both the parents for selected days or months. It is termed shared Shared Physical custody.

    When both parents can together make significant life decisions for the child, they can also share legal Custody of the Child. This custody is termed shared Legal Custody.

    Interestingly, did you know that the parents can also simultaneously share physical and legal Custody of the Child!

    Guardianship VS Custody

    f you are still confused with both the terms, let’s us pen down both the similarities and differences between Guardianship VS Custody for you so that you can get a better picture:

    Similarities between Guardianship and Custody:

    There are some similarities between Guardianship and Custody of the Child, making both terms easier to get confused. A Legal guardian and a Legal custodian share some likenesses that are;

    • Both are appointed by the final judgment of the Court,
    • Both are selected in the Interest of the Child,
    • Both can be in charge to provide food, shelter, healthcare, and all other standard necessities for the child,
    • Both can be appointed for making crucial decisions on the child’s behalf
    • Both are mandated to protect the child from any kind of threat or harm
    • Both are answerable to the Court if they won’t stand up as per their assigned responsibilities.

    Difference between Guardianship and Custody:

    Appointment:

    Whether it’s legal Custody or Guardianship, it’s always the judge who makes the final decision. However, in the case of Guardianship, Parents can name the person worthy of being the child’s guardian. On the contrary, in the case of Custody, parents usually don’t nominate another person to give their child custody.

    Rights:

    You must know the fact that custodians have more rights and powers than a guardian. Of course, when it comes to legal guardian vs biological Parent, the person who gave birth to the child will have more authority to manage a child’s life.

    In the case of Guardianship, if the Biological Parent becomes fit to look after the child, they file a petition in the Court to gain authority over the child again.

    Duration:

    Guardianship of the Child usually lasts up to the time the child turns 18 and is capable of making their own decisions. Therefore Guardianship is generally time-bound.

    Whereas, in the case of Custody, the Custodial parent will have the allotted rights just like the ordinary parents have.

    Guardianship and Custody

    How is Adoption different from Guardianship?

    Adoption is somewhat the same as Guardianship, as in both cases, a third party gets the authority to take care of the child. In both, a child’s responsibility is taken from their biological parents.

    However, both Adoption and Guardianship are different in the subjects that:

    • In Adoption, the approved party is considered the child’s legal parents, while in Guardianship, biological parents are still seen as legal parents of the child.
    • Biological parents have no right to the child in case of Adoption, while in Guardianship, the parents can proclaim their rights to the child.

    Last Updated: April 22, 2022

    Jasper Becky

    Jasper Becky

    Author

    Jasper Becky is a Famous legal writer. She was a notary public herself; at the same time, she loved writing and wrote some great pieces all along with her career as a notary. A few years back, she switched to full-time writing. Being a notary public in the past, she has excellent knowledge and has a nice grasp regarding laws and rules in America. She is a wife and mother of two girls plus one cute dog. She likes to spend time with her family and cook for them. 

    2 Comments
    1. Davis Brown

      How to get guardianship of a child without going to court?

      Reply
    2. Ryan Taylor

      Guardianship of a child can be registered through a notary without involving the court. An agreement can be signed by the parents or one parent if the other isn’t available. If the child is above 14 years, the signature of the child is also valid for the agreement. This agreement can be signed and notarized using an online notary service too. You can get an appointment with a notary at Lottalegal to get your guardianship notarized online.

      Reply
    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Read More

    Everything you should know about C-Corporation

    Everything you should know about C-Corporation

    Everything you should know about C-CorporationLast Updated: 29 june 2022A business structure tells a lot about a company. From its operations, revenue, employee strength, taxation, etc., one can clearly understand these just by knowing a company's...

    Learn About How to register a company in USA?

    Learn About How to register a company in USA?

    If you are a resident of the United States, it is better to register your Company in your residential State, where your Company is located. If you wish to register your Company in another state, you also need to register your Company as a “foreign company” in the State where you have assembled it primarily.

    Seeking a Notary Public? Connect Here.