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Conservatorship Basics

Conservatorship Basics

In a conservatorship, a person is appointed by a judge to organize and take care of another person’s financial or personal needs. The person who is appointed to take care of a person’s affairs is called a conservator, and the person being taken care of is called the conservatee. A conservator is appointed usually when someone who does not have power of attorney for health care or durable power of attorney for financial matters cannot take care of their personal care of finances. There can be several kinds of conservatorships, but commonly there is conservatorship of the person and conservatorship of the estate. Conservatorship of the person is for when a person cannot provide for their personal health, food, clothing, or shelter. A judge appoints a conservator to assist them, and also limits the powers given to the conservator to appropriately meet the needs of the conservatee. For instance, the conservatee still has the right to get married, vote, consent to medical treatment, or make a will, unless the judge decides otherwise. In conservatorship of the state, a judge appoints a person to help someone take care of their financial matters. In California, a judge can appoint a conservator for someone who is “substantially unable to manage his or her financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence.” A person who occasionally shows negligence will not be appointed a conservator, rather, they would have to show that they are consistently unfit to manage their own finances. In conservatorship of the state, the conservatee does not have the legal capacity to enter into any transactions that affect their financial situation,...
How Do I Terminate a Guardianship to Get my Kids Back?

How Do I Terminate a Guardianship to Get my Kids Back?

There may be a situation where, to regain custody of your child, you need to terminate guardianship. For instance, if grandparents can tell the child is not in a healthy environment because the parents are having marital problems or a parent is having substance abuse problems, the grandparents may request guardianship of the child. If the grandparents obtain guardianship, they will be able to make all the decisions in the child’s life. Then, if the parents find themselves in a stable relationship or with their substance abuse problem taken care of, they will want guardianship back. Then the parents will request a termination of guardianship. In such situations, the parents cannot just take the children back and be the legal guardians again. Guardianship is terminated when one of these things happen: The child turns 18 The child is adopted, marries, enters the military, or is declared an adult by court order The child dies before turning 18 The court ends the guardianship The first 3 things end the guardianship automatically. The last item requires a court order. Also, The party with guardianship to agree to terminate their own guardianship. If the guardian wants to resign, they have to show it would be in the child’s best interests to do so, and the court will appoint a new guardian. Guardianship can be terminated by the child if they are 12 years of age or older, the parents of the child, or the guardian. When appointing a new guardian, the court will consider: The child’s best interests. The person asking for termination of guardianship has to be able to prove that...

What do preliminary financial disclosures means in a divorce?

The marital home is one of the most valuable pieces of property a couple owns, and therefore can garner a lot of conflict when it has to be divided during a divorce. One issue that could arise is that one spouse tries to or succeeds in selling the home during the divorce process. In California, assets in a marriage are considered to be community property. This means that any property acquired during a marriage has to be split evenly in case of a divorce, including the marital home. So, what happens if a spouse sells the community property home in the middle of a divorce? Once the Petition of Dissolution is filed, which begins the divorce, neither spouse can do anything with the community property, including selling it. This is because the Petition of Dissolution is filed along with a Summons, which includes orders called automatic temporary restraining orders, or ATROS. ATROS forbids both parties from disposing of or concealing any property. Therefore, selling the community property home is prohibited. The divorce process also includes documents called preliminary financial disclosures. These documents require both parties to fully disclose and be transparent about all assets and debts, including separate property. The documents include disclosure of separate property because there is often confusion about what is actually considered separate property. It is common for a party to wrongly assess what property is separate and communal, which spurs conflict. Preliminary financial disclosure prevents such conflict, and should classify the home as community property if it was acquired during the marriage. So, preliminary financial disclosures also declares that a spouse cannot sell the...
Can Parents Make an Agreement to Waive Child Support?

Can Parents Make an Agreement to Waive Child Support?

In every state, parents are under the obligation to support their children. Parents may be under the impression that they have the power to determine how much and if child support is necessary; however, the state law and the courts have the final say in matters of child support. Parents cannot agree not to pay child support. To understand why parents cannot waive the duty to pay child support, t is necessary to know how and why the state creates child support arrangements. Whenever the support of a minor is of concern, the court can order either parent to pay any amount of child support while the child is a minor. Eliminating this support is not an option, because child support payments are actually the child’s right, not the parents. Every state calculates child support by determining what is in the best interests of the child. Because of this, parents cannot refuse to pay child support because it is not in the best interests of the child. According to the federal Child Support Enforcement Act, each state has guidelines that calculate the amount child support to be paid, which vary depending upon several concerns. In general, factors determining child support include: the needs of the child such as health insurance, education, child care, and other special needs the income and needs of the custodial parent the ability of the paying parent to pay child support the child’s standard of living before the divorce or separation From there, the courts may determine child support depending on factors affecting the child’s best interests, such as: the age and sex of the...