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  1. #1
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    Aug 2018
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    Default Can You File for Guardianship of a Child from a Different Statee

    My question involves a child custody case from the States of California and Washington. The child (16) and parent live in CA, and we are relatives residing in WA, considering seeking guardianship. If it is relevant, she was adopted while she lived in WA. My logistical questions are:

    • Do we have to seek guardianship in both states?
    • If we hire legal counsel, should we hire in one or both states, or are there those who work in or specialize in interstate custody matters?
    • Once guardianship is established, are we governed by WA or CA law or both? E.g. it appears that guardians can seek child support in CA but not WA, and one state may require annual reports.
    • At what point in the process is the child allowed to move out of state? Will they and/or us need to return to CA for court during the process?


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Multistate Guardianship in California and Wa

    Are both parents in agreement to the guardianship?

  3. #3
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    Aug 2018
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    Default Re: Multistate Guardianship in California and Wa

    If we proceed, it will be with full parental agreement. We have not approached them about it yet, but I'm not worried about that part.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Multistate Guardianship in California and Wa

    Quote Quoting esomerv
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    If we proceed, it will be with full parental agreement. We have not approached them about it yet, but I'm not worried about that part.
    Well, you should be. Most parents have no interest in being separated from their children no matter how good of an idea it seems at the time. The guardianship case would have to be filed in the state of the child's legal residence. You might also need to domesticate the case in your state, once its done.

    The child can move whenever the parents say that the child can move. You also need to talk to the school district where you will want the child to attend school. Sometimes Guardianship isn't good enough for school systems. Some of them actually require custody.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can You File for Guardianship of a Child from a Different Statee

    If the parents are cooperative, your best bet is to get their permission to have the child move into your home in Washington and, once the child is domiciled in Washington, petition for guardianship in that state. The parents can stipulate their consent to a grant of guardianship.

    If the parents are not interested, you should not expect your plan to proceed.

    You will have to evaluate for yourself whether or not you feel you can complete the process without the help of a lawyer.

    A Washington guardianship is governed by Washington law.

    You can enroll the child in school in Washington State once you have guardianship. The precise proof required may vary by school district, but court-appointment as a minor child's full guardian will allow you to enroll the child in public school.

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