San Bernardino Guardianship & Adoption Lawyer
Certified Specialist: Guardianship
Guardianships are usually used by relatives or other caring adults to provide stability and needed care for children whose parents fail to provide these essentials to them. Frequently there is an immediate need for intervention to protect a child, either from ongoing neglect or from being suddenly removed from the place where the child has been for some time and from the person with whom the child has emotionally bonded.
Successful guardianship petitions, even when they are not opposed, require a great deal of paperwork. Paperwork that is incomplete or contains errors, is rejected, or worse yet, results in a denial of guardianship petitions that would otherwise have been approved. Contested guardianships are ultimately decided by a judge after hearing evidence at a trial. Preparation and presentation of evidence at a contested guardianship trial requires the services of a skilled guardianship lawyer.
Certified Specialist: Stepparent Adoption
We provide services for step-parent adoptions only. In these adoptions, a stepparent assumes financial and legal responsibility for his / her spouse’s child(ren) and the non-custodial parent is released from all parenting responsibilities. We do not provide services for agency or independent adoptions. There are important differences between adoptions and guardianships:
- An adoptive stepparent has a duty to provide financial support for the child. Guardians do not.
- When a child has been adopted by a stepparent, the birth parent being replaced no longer has a duty to support the child. Appointment of a guardian does not eliminate the birth parent’s obligation to provide financial support.
- After an adoption, the birth parent being replaced has no further rights or responsibilities concerning the child, including visitation. Appointment of a guardian does not terminate parental rights.
I practice primarily in the central San Bernardino courthouse. Your guardianship or adoption case will likely be filed in the central San Bernardino courthouse if the child lives in San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Highland, Colton, Fontana, Rialto, Bloomington, Lake Arrowhead and surrounding mountain communities or anywhere else in the central San Bernardino Valley.