In Arizona there are two forms of guardianship, Title 14, or revocable guardianships, and Title 8, or permanent guardianships. We have a firm understanding of both types of guardianships established under Arizona law and when a particular type of guardianship would best suit our clients' needs.
Title 14 establishes the requirements of voluntary guardianships. Voluntary guardianships require the consent of the parent or parents. Each parent reserves the right to revoke these guardianships. To revoke the guardianship the parent must request a hearing and appear before the court.
Title 14 guardianships are temporary by design. For grandparents or other family members caring for children on a temporary basis, a Title 14 guardianship provides the caregiver with the ability to enroll a child in school and obtain medical care, health insurance, and public assistance. This type of Guardianship only temporarily infringes on parental rights, which grandparents can suggest without alienating the parents. Also, DCS has no involvement in the case.
Title 8 establishes the requirements for permanent guardianships. Title 8 guardianships are considered to be permanent. However, unlike adoption, they do not require the Court to terminate parental rights. In rare cases, it remains possible for the Court to reconsider, revoke, or amend the permanent guardianship. Title 8 guardianship petitions offer a stable placement for children involved in the dependency system, without resulting in the termination of parental rights. However, Title 8 guardianships lack many of the benefits of adoption, such as legal permanency and the child's eligibility for the Arizona Adoption Subsidy. These serious drawback to permanent guardianships, make adoption a better choice for most families.