We love our kids and will do anything for them. That’s a big reason why child custody battles have a tendency to become so heated. But they’re also hugely complex, and no two situations are ever exactly the same. One question we recently came across was whether or not your spouse can give away guardianship without your consent?
Rick Jones, our founding partner, has a regular guest spot on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show where he answers lister’s family law questions. One recent caller found himself in just this predicament.
Here’s how the call went:
Caller: “My wife and I Have been separated for a couple years now, and she recently went to court and gave guardianship of our child to her parents, without my knowledge. If I file for divorce, will that nullify the guardianship? Or do I need to go through the process of nullifying the guardianship first?”
Rick Jones: “First of all, this is a really odd set of circumstance, because my understanding is that there would have been a notice requirement provided to you. The court’s just not going to say, “ah well, there’s a mom and a dad, and if mom says it’s ok to give guardianship to the parents.
“There’s something underlying here, perhaps you were defaulted, meaning that you were quote, ‘contacted,’ or she says you were ‘contacted,’, [Danny interjects: “Got lost in the mail, whatever.”] Exactly. If that’s the case, then you need to start at the level of the guardianship and basically say, “Hey let’s void, let’s vacate this default, and let’s start over because I have a voice to say in it.’ But certainly in terms of initiating the legal process, you’re going to need to do that anyway, so I would recommend initiating the legal process, contact somebody to go through the guardianship as well and say, ‘hey, by the way, I now have an open divorce case where custody is an issue.”
If you have questions about divorce or child custody cases, contact Goldberg Jones at our San Diego office.
Related Reading: Custody From the Grandparent’s Perspective