We are experienced attorneys who understand the legal requirements of these difficult legal actions.  We provide experienced and effective guidance, advice, and representation to the family throughout the guardianship or adoption process.

Guardianship & Adoption Lawyers in Santa Cruz

What Is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is a court action for choosing someone to be legally responsible for a minor.  A guardian must be chosen by a court.  Most commonly, a guardianship is needed when a minor’s parents are unable to take care of him or her – whether due to a parent’s death or illness, drug, or alcohol issues.  

That type of guardianship is called a “guardianship of the person” because it involves only physical custody and control of a child.  Also, a “guardianship of the estate” of a minor is required to manage a minor’s assets.  For example, if a minor inherits money or other assets that are more than $5,000.00, a parent or other adult will need to request the court to be chosen as the guardian of the estate for that child to control his or her assets until that child reaches the age of 18.

Contact Our Guardianship & Adoption Attorneys

Our attorney, Amy R. Henderson, has extensive experience with guardianships and adoptions, having spent 10 years as a judicial research attorney for the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.  Amy reviewed the paperwork filed in all guardianship matters, researched the issues and law, made proposals to the judges about how they should rule, and attended all guardianship hearings.  Amy also reviewed adoption paperwork, made proposals to the adoption judge, and attended the weekly adoption hearings. 

Step-Parent Adoption

A step-parent may adopt a step-child after the child’s birth parent’s rights have been taken away.  A parent’s rights may be taken away with that parent’s permission or without that parent’s permission, after notice and a hearing to decide the correctness of ending parental rights. Once taken away, the step-parent’s petition will be considered by the judge after a social worker reviews the family and makes a proposal to the judge.

Contact the Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder at (831) 400-3496 or fill out our contact form to speak to our experienced attorneys and learn more about guardianship and adoption. 

What Sets us apart?

The Law Office of Emily J. Buchbinder Difference
  • Customized Legal Strategies
    Just like no two individuals are the same, our team believes that no two cases are the same. We work with you to ensure your legal strategy is crafted to address your unique circumstances.
  • Attentive & Skilled Representation
    We understand that this is a difficult topic to think of, so our team of dedicated legal advocates compassionately works with you and your family in order to ensure you are in control of your future.
  • Certified Legal Specialist
    Emily Buchbinder, our founding attorney, is a certified legal specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. We have the tools, knowledge, and resources to help with your legal needs.

We Are Here to Help

Our compassionate and experienced team of professionals is standing by to assist you with your needs. Contact us today!

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