Pros vs. Cons of Guardianship

In an ideal situation, an adult will have the capacity to make decisions for themselves, and children will live safely and happily with their parents. However, there are cases when it is unsafe, inadvisable, or simply impossible to allow adults or children to continue in their current situation.

Guardianship can be a good option when someone is needed to step in and take responsibility for a person’s safety and well-being. With that said, it’s not a perfect solution. So, what is guardianship, and what are the pros and cons of becoming a guardian?

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal designation. It designates the responsibilities of caring for another person and making legal decisions on their behalf. Custody can only be assigned to a child’s biological parents, but anyone can become a guardian if they meet the requirements.

Children might need a guardian if their parents are deceased or unable to care for them. Many children whose parents struggle with addiction cannot safely live with them, but a guardian can step in to act as a parent temporarily. Adults who are unable to make their own decisions can put themselves in danger and might need a guardian in certain situations.

Guardianship is different from adoption. It could last just a few weeks, or it could be active for years. If you become the guardian of a child, for example, your guardianship would end if the biological parents were able to care for their child again.

What are the Pros and Cons of Guardianship?

Becoming a guardian isn’t something to take lightly. There are some pros and cons that you should understand before you accept the responsibility of guardianship.


  • Provides stability for a child or adult in need
  • Improves the life of your ward
  • Prevents arguments between family members over who should provide care
  • Can prevent reckless behavior
  • Makes legal matters and decisions on your ward’s behalf much easier


  • Requires the payment of certain court fees, which can add up
  • Can last an indeterminate length of time
  • Involves complex court processes

How Do You Become a Guardian?

If you have been involved in caring for a child or adult in your life and you think guardianship would benefit your ward, then you will need to file for this designation with the court. This process can be complex, so it’s important to work with an experienced attorney to walk you through each step.

To learn more about guardianship and to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney in Texas, call our law office in San Antonio at (210) 953-7486.