View Full Version : Am I the legal guardian? For my stepson

big jays wife
02-16-2011, 11:09 PM
My husband is prison and we have three kids ones his ones mine and one is ours. I was reading the visit ins info and it says your name has to match the name on the birth certificate? Is my husband allowed to give me permission to be his legal guardian if he is in prison.

02-16-2011, 11:26 PM
Damn girl thats a really good question...I have NO record myself and if I married my man would I be able to introduce myself to his daughter whose mother has neglected for drugs while she is cared for by her grandmother???I dont know???but you've brought up a good point

02-17-2011, 11:15 AM
Sorry to say I don't have any information myself, but have you tried contacting the prison? They may be able to advise you what to do, or at least where to direct you.

02-18-2011, 11:54 AM
I don't know about California, but in my state one parent can grant legal guardianship to a third party IF they have sole legal custody, or if the other parent agrees (or is deceased or parental rights have been terminated). Otherwise you'd have to go to court.

02-20-2011, 11:02 AM
I dont have much info, but, as I understand it
the legal guardian must give you a letter (notarized) allowing you to bring the child to the facility to visit.
Not sure who would be the legal guardian, from your post.
YOu would need to provide a bit more info to get a better answer.

02-20-2011, 02:48 PM
If you are married you are the legal step-mother and I think (but am not sure) that give you legal guardianship for the child. Does the child live with you? If so do you have any problems when it comes to registaring him/her for school with the different name? I know my friend had custody of her husbands child but she never had a problem taking him to visits (and this was in CA). Call the prison and explain the situation and see what they say.

02-20-2011, 05:26 PM
Step parents have no legal rights. In Arizona,the incarcerated parent cannot sign/ have notarized authorization for child's visitation. Review California visitation rules, or call visitation and ask.
Most likely, if there is another legal parent (mother?) she would need to sign consent/notarized.
You should consider filing for legal guardianship. A Legal Document preparer (paralegal) who specializes or knows family law could help cut costs but they cannot give advise, just help file with the court.
You can also contact your local court and ask if they have assistance in filing

also, get power of attorney for your husband, that may mildly assist you.

space tourist
02-20-2011, 10:54 PM
They don't want someone to take the kids into the prison without their parent's permission. It's annoying, but you want to be sure your paperwork is in order. The prison probably has a form that your husband can fill out making you (at least) the temporary legal guardian--it lasts for 6 months at a time and specifically should include a line where they sign giving permission for the child to visit. The inmate should be able to get it from their counselor, fill it out and send it to you. Make a few copies in case you need to take them to the doctor or anything.

It might be easier for you, since you're the step mom, but that works for us.

02-20-2011, 11:03 PM
1. the child you have together: no problem

2. the child that's yours: depends. If you have sole custody, no problem. If you have joint custody with primary physical, then make sure your custody agreement doesn't mention it and you should be fine. If you're the only parent due to the death of the other parent, you should be fine. Call the prison; you may have to show your marriage certificate/change of name so that your name matches up with the name of your child.

3. his child: big problem. Assuming he's divorced, then the custody agreement needs modification if you're living with his child. If his child's mom has abandoned or has died, then you really need to see a family lawyer so you can legally be the guardian of the child. Else, the child goes to the next closest relative. So, regardless of taking the child to the prison, you need to get that straightened out so you can have a say over the child. It's called a guardianship, and will last until he's out of prison, or the child is 18 - whichever's first.

4. if he's adopted your child and you've adopted his - no problem. You might want to talk with a family lawyer about this possibility, especially if one or both of the other parents are dead or have abandoned the child. But, that's a big step that shouldn't be entered into lightly. If you can't afford a lawyer, talk with Legal Aid in your area. If you're near a law school, they may have a family law clinic that can help you as well.

No matter what, if the names don't match, you need to contact the prison, and talk with them about what you need to do to prove a relationship with the child. Explain the problem. If necessary, talk with the chaplain to get help.

Make sense?

02-21-2011, 10:59 AM
I had to show birthcert. and that worked two differnt AZ prisons. Inmate's son my grandson, (same last name inmate and child), different last names on mine and his birthcert. and I.D.

I allready had guardianship and it was the second AZ prison that asked to see the guardianship papers, on the second visit to that facility. It was not mentioned on visitation papers and we were accepted with info. provide and legal guardianship was not an issue for that paperwork. I had guardianship papers as I said, previous to this issue for medical and school reasons.

I filed and served guardianship papers, I served my son and advertised as service for mother, as no address was/is known. I went to juvinal court house and they were very helpful. I had filing charges defered (meaning I eventually had to pay, but not that day). There was a court date and I took grandson's birthcert. and proof of service. There maybe three trips to Juvy court house as proof of service may be required before court date. There is two documents to buy certified copies of after the court date and that was pricey for me.

If you have never filed, it is not hard, though may seem overwhelming at first. There are step by step directions, you are not a lawyer and the courts are quite understanding. Believe me they do not want another child in the system, there will be no problem, especially if mom has no contact and/or she is leaving him with you during this time.