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Bundren Law Firm P.C. Bundren Law Firm P.C.

How to Terminate Guardianship Orders in Oklahoma

Serving Families Throughout Tulsa

Can Guardianship be Terminated?

There are many reasons why children may be placed with legal guardians. Sometimes these reasons include the parent’s incarceration, dealing with health issues, or simply because they are financially incapable of providing their children the level of care they require.

In these situations, a child’s welfare can be ensured by establishing a guardianship. In this arrangement, a relative or trusted friend assumes the responsibility for the child while the parent takes care of their affairs. It’s important to stress here that guardianships are intended to be temporary arrangements as long as the child and his or her biological parents remain alive.

When parents are no longer dealing with the circumstances that necessitated guardianship, they need to petition the court to terminate the guardianship arrangement and reassume their parental rights. Likewise, guardians can themselves petition the court to terminate the arrangement if they realize the responsibility is too great for them to handle. 

Do Parents Permanently Lose their Rights to Legal Guardianship?

No. A common misconception is that legal parental rights are permanently lost when a legal guardian is assigned. While it’s true that legal guardians have the authority over children as their biological parents might, the latter’s rights are not terminated – they are merely placed “on hold” while the guardianship is in effect. Legal guardians also retain all of the responsibilities that a child’s parent will have. That means the guardian is responsible for providing for needs such as food, shelter, education, and medical care for the child.

How Hard is it to Terminate Guardianship?

If you are the parent of a child under a guardianship, you should take the follow steps to terminate the guardianship: 

  • File a motion terminating the guardianship
  • Request a hearing date from the judge
  • During the hearing, explain why the guardianship should be terminated

If you yourself are the guardian, the process instead involves filing your own guardian resignation and requesting an approval of the final report at the hearing. This is typically an easier process for terminating guardianship, but is not always ideal.

When Should a Guardianship End?

As previously mentioned, guardianships are supposed to be temporary arrangements. They are often used when a parent is dealing with a hardship that would adversely affect their ability to provide the care and comfort their children need.

For example: If a single parent is dealing with a major health crisis, then a friend or relative might want to step in as a legal guardian to care for the child. In this case, the guardianship should end when the parent is well again.

In any case, a hearing will take place where a judge will consider whether the guardianship is still needed. Both the parents and the legal guardians can present their arguments, but they may not always be in disagreement about rescinding guardianship. Ultimately, however, a judge will decide what is in the child’s best interest.

What If a Guardian Disagrees on Termination?

Consider a situation where a parent is dealing with an addiction. A concerned relative obtains guardianship over the parent’s child while the parent is in recovery. When the parent has completed their treatment, he or she petitions the court to terminate the guardianship. The guardian doesn’t believe the parent is in recovery, and if they are, they will easily relapse. What happens when the guardian doesn’t want the guardianship to end?

It’s not uncommon for parents to face resistance like this when they wish to terminate a guardianship. Regardless, the parent must file a petition to end the arrangement as he or she would if they were in agreement with the guardian.

As always, the judge will consider whether keeping the guardianship in effect is in the child’s best interest, which will require the parent to prove the hardship they endured is over.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

If you are dealing with a matter concerning guardianship, we at Bundren Law Firm can provide the legal representation you need. Whether you are someone seeking guardianship or trying to protect your status as a legal guardian, we can help you with your various needs.

For more information on how guardianship can be terminated, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Bundren Law Firm online today!