For most parents, a question that might arise is “Who will take care of my child?”  and of course, you think there is only one acceptable answer — yourself.

In a perfect world, that’s right. In our society, however, anything can happen. You need to have a tough conversation with a professional about who might act as a temporary caregiver for your child in an emergency. The forms are easy to fill out, but the decision is tough.

When a Temporary Caregiver is Needed

Having a temporary caregiver or guardian for your children is to ease your mind and know that your children will be taken care of no matter the situation. You can sign over guardianship to the trusted caregiver and the caregiver will then be authorized to make immediate decisions for the well-being of the child if you are unreachable.

A temporary caregiver or guardian could even step-in in the event of a delayed flight, natural disaster, or family emergency. If a single parent is called to active military service, temporary guardianship can be invoked so the parent can resume care upon return.

In the worst-case scenario, an accident or illness could disable you or worse. It is scary to think about, but you owe it to your child to prepare for it. If no clear next of kin or godparent is immediately available, the default alternative may be temporary foster care or juvenile housing. 

You can guard against this outcome now. Designate a temporary caregiver to take custody of your child in an emergency. This is different than a permanent guardian or godparent, which may be designated in an estate plan. 

Who will you designate?

Choosing a temporary caregiver can be a very difficult decision. There can be many people in your life you want to consider or maybe you do not have very many options. The most important thing to consider when choosing a temporary caregiver is your child.

Options include:

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Cousins
  • Close friends

Consider the following factors when designating a temporary caregiver for your child:

Granting Temporary Guardianship to Someone You Trust

You would never grant custody of your child to someone you did not trust. Trusting someone may look different in an emergency than it does long-term.

Many parents want to designate a permanent guardian or godparent who shares their values and religious beliefs. When choosing a temporary caregiver, it may be more important to focus on the immediate ability to give care.

Parenthood comes with a learning curve, that said, temporary caregiving starts immediately. Prioritize reliability and a sense of duty. Ask yourself if this person would be reliable enough to reach in case of an emergency, then that person would be your choice.

The Practical Logistics of Temporary Guardianship

The most crucial factor in a temporary caregiver may be geography.

The goal is to keep your child out of temporary foster care. There is no substitute for a caregiver who can drop everything and drive to your child’s location within the hour. 

When selecting a permanent guardian, a parent might rightly consider financial stability. They might look at whether or not the guardian has a room for the child or if the child would fit in with the guardian’s other children.

Finances do play a role. Finding a guardian who has a stable income as well as a home is something to factor in when choosing a temporary caregiver. 

A Relationship With Your Child

The circumstances of temporary custody can be scary and confusing for your child. If trust and logistics are in abundant supply, consider how your kid will feel. With whom they will feel the most at home? Whose instructions will they be willing to follow? Where will they sleep the easiest, play the most freely, be the happiest? In tough times, nothing matters more.

Let Us Help

Do not feel like you have to make these scary decisions alone. Let experts walk you through your options for assigning a temporary caregiver. Call Atlanta Wills + Trusts Law Group by Refeca Law LLC today.

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