Guardianship Petitions After Child Protective Orders

The Effect of a Child Protective Order

A child protective order can temporarily terminate the rights of a parent to have custody of his or her children, although they rarely take all rights away.  Most courts will permit supervised visitation.  Further, even if all rights are temporarily terminated by a child protective order the fact is it is temporary.  Child protective orders last no longer than 150 days unless good cause is shown and then the court can extend the child protective order past the 150 days.

Using a Child Protective Order As A Means to Gain Guardianship

In spite of the temporary nature of a child protective order some people attempt to piggy back such an order to ride into a guardianship of the children.  The statute, however, does not permit a court to appoint a guardian based on anything other than the absolute termination or suspension of the parental rights by a prior court order.  That can typically only occur through an action to terminate parental rights, which is commenced by filing a petition in the juvenile court.  The process of terminating parental rights can take many many months.

The statute specifically states that the court can appoint a guardian only “if all parental rights of custody have been terminated or suspended by circumstances or prior court order.”  Thus, if a petition is brought for guardianship but the parental rights have not been terminated the court lacks authority to appoint a guardian absent the parent’s consent and the case should be dismissed.

Family Law Issues in Utah

When facing difficult situations involving family law, you need a respectable law firm on your side.  Our law firm has experienced family law attorneys who will work hard for you.  Our lawyers have vast experience with child protective order and guardianship issues and know the ins and outs of the law that we can implement to protect you.  Contact us at 801.618.1331 for a free consultation.

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