Guardianship establishes a lawful custodianship by a third party who is not the child’s natural parent. A person who receives guardianship of a minor enters the same position as the custodial parent in a divorce case. In Oklahoma, a guardian has all the same rights as a natural parent, except for the right to consent to adoption.
Guardianship within Divorce
The process of the guardianship within a divorce must be entered by consent, by finding that a parent is unfit, or by abandonment of the child by the parent.
A Guardianship Is an Action of Necessity
Determining that a parent is unfit is not a comparative test. In Oklahoma, all guardianships can be dissolved if the parent demonstrates that the circumstances that caused the guardianship to be entered have been alleviated. If the necessity no longer exists, the parent can have the opportunity to demonstrate to the Court that they are now able to take care of the child.
Situations of Abandonment
In all cases except those of abandonment, the Court will dissolve the guardianship once the natural parent proves that their circumstances have changed.
In an abandonment situation, a guardianship is considered a necessity that lasts as long as there is a reason for it to be maintained. Regaining custody requires the parent to show that there has been a substantial, material and permanent change to the conditions that led to the abandonment situation.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a skilled Oklahoma City Family Law attorney at Echols & Associates, please contact us at (405) 691-2648.