A Guardianship Does Override Parental Rights
Video Transcribed: Does a guardianship override parental rights? Hi, this is Tulsa attorney, Justin Mosteller with grandparents.attorney, and I’m going to spend a couple of minutes with you today talking about this issue.
Now, the short answer is yes, absolutely. A guardianship does override parental rights. What we mean by that is once a guardianship has been established, the court is saying that the parents are either unfit, or unavailable, to actually take care of the children, and a person needs to step into that gap to be able to take care of that child or children.
Now that necessarily is going to result in the curtailment of some parental rights, specifically decision-making. Once a guardian is in place, unless it’s a special guardianship of a limited scope, there’s going to be an impact in what a parent can do, as a result of a guardianship.
You’re not going to be able to enroll the child in school. You’re not going to be able to make medical decisions, if the guardian has been appointed to actually make those decisions for your child or children.
Now with that in mind though, it doesn’t necessarily terminate your rights the same way an adoption would. You’re still the legal parent of that child. You just have your rights curtailed, as a result of the guardianship.
You still, for instance, have to pay child support to the guardian, or to anyone who’s taking care of the child, that’s not you, if you’re in the noncustodial parent.
But doesn’t mean the termination of your rights, and guardianships are, by their nature, meant to be temporary stop gap measures, to make for sure a child has somebody in their life that can take care of them, and make those important decisions.
Guardianships are meant to be terminated. They are not meant to be permanent. A lot of times when folks come in and retain us to represent them as guardians, I have that talk with them first, and make sure that they understand.
Your role as a guardian is not to replace the parent permanently, you are a temporary replacement for that parent.
Guardianships can be terminated, and they can be modified. So it’s not the end of a parent’s rights. It’s a change in the nature of those rights for a definite period, and hopefully for as short as possible.
The idea behind Oklahoma Policy is that whenever possible, children should be with their biological parents. Guardianships are not meant to undo that presumption.
Hopefully that answers your question, but if you have any other questions regarding the consequences of a guardianship, give our office a call. We can be reached at 918 932 2800. Thanks.