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What does “Primary Caregiver” mean?
A “caregiver” is defined as an adult (over the age of 18) who provides for another human being. This person is usually a direct family member, extended family member or close friend. The person needing care is most likely to be an underage child, but can be a disabled or elderly adult.
Primary caregivers are responsible for supervision, ongoing medical care and protection. Individuals who care for children or teenagers are given responsibility for providing education and age-appropriate activities. When discussing the duties of a primary caregiver for the elderly or disabled, it is imperative that a Primary Caregiver is able to take charge of fiscal, household and personal needs.
Legal ramifications of being a “Primary Caregiver”
The role of Primary Caregiver is best decided with the assistance of an attorney within Los Angeles. The State of California has its own eligibility standards, as well as regulations dealing with neglect, abuse and misuse of funds. With the assistance of an attorney, agreements can be worked out to decide which parent will care for a child after a divorce. It could also decide which adult child legally cares for an elderly parent or disabled sibling.
Becoming a Primary Caregiver
After a divorce, the issue of child custody most often takes center stage. Each parent seeking to be the Primary Caregiver of a child or children from a marriage is represented by their own legal counsel. Hopefully the situation can be solved through peaceful mediation. Should a difficult dispute arise, the matter will be brought before a judge. Either way, one parent will be determined as the Primary Caregiver or both parents may share “care giving” and ongoing joint custody of the child.
While one parent may not share equal custody or time with their child, they are still permitted to make decisions regarding the long-term welfare of their child. These include a child’s medical needs, education, spiritual involvement and general well-being. A Primary Caregiver of an elderly or disabled person may be given full responsibility to determine where this person will live (at home or in a facility) and who is allowed to provide immediate daily care when necessary.
How is the “Primary Caregiver” chosen?
Anyone asking the court to make them a Primary Caregiver will be required to prove that they can properly provide and care for the child, parent or disabled adult in question. Judges need to see that the best interests of this person comes first at all times. A legal decision may also come down to which candidate has a more loving demeanor, secure home environment, stable financial situation and prior experience as a caregiver.
Generally, there will be additional criteria used in determining who should become the Primary Caregiver. Whether or not one is home to provide care will come under discussion. Should a Primary Caregiver spend hours away from home on the job, they will have to show that a child or adult in their care is never left home alone. A judge or legal mediator will also seek the out the opinion of the child or adult requiring care whenever possible. Home visits by a licensed social worker or further investigations may be in order in some cases.
When seeking legal assistance to become a Primary Caregiver, make sure to contact an attorney or law firm well-versed in divorce, family and elder law issues. When deciding to take your case, a legal associate will ask you to bring a variety of documents. Always bring forth any legal paperwork or personal recommendations that positively support your claim.