DEFINITION of 'Natural Guardian'

A child's parent. In divorce situations, the parent with custody is considered the natural guardian. The opposite of a natural guardian is an appointed guardian or legal guardian, who must be authorized by a court or a will to care for and make decisions on behalf of a minor child. Of particular concern are financial and medical decisions; since minor children generally do not have legal authority to make such decisions, their natural or legal guardian must authorize them.

BREAKING DOWN 'Natural Guardian'

When a child with a disability becomes an adult with a disability, his or her parent may need to be appointed by a court as guardian and/or conservator in order to continue making medical, personal and financial decisions that the disabled person is incapable of making.

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