Having to care for a child in place of that child’s parent is a unique and challenging situation; the guidance of an attorney could be what you need to better understand your role. An experienced guardianship lawyer can help you determine steps to take in order to ensure the guardian laws apply in a way that protects the best interests of the child in your care. Knowing the basics of child guardianship should be one of those steps.
When you have questions about this or other areas of family law, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a trusted attorney.
FAQs: Establishing Guardianship
If you plan to have someone else’s child living with you for a prolonged period of time, establishing guardianship of that child is something a lawyer would recommend that you certainly consider. Clients seeking to do so often ask the following questions when meeting with a family law lawyer.
How can I establish guardianship of a child?
The first step in establishing guardianship is filing a petition in court that states your intention to be the child’s legal guardian. This paperwork should also include a letter of consent from the child’s parents.
After you’ve filed the paperwork, the next steps will be interviews arranged by the court. You, as well as the child and his or her parents if possible, will be interviewed, as well as any other person who has interest in the situation. A visit to or inspection of your home might also be part of the court’s next steps, as well as a criminal background check.
In all of these actions, the court will be using the child’s best interest as a standard for its decision as to whether or not to grant you guardianship. Be sure to consult with an attorney about what you can do in order to meet the court’s standards, and to follow their instructions completely.
What can I do to appoint a legal guardian for my own children?
A lawyer, like a skilled Rockville family law lawyer, will tell you that appointing a legal guardian for your own children can be a wise choice. It means that you are planning ahead for the possibility of being unable to take care of your children, which, while unlikely, is something you should consider. You can take this step by adding a clause to your will that states explicitly who should be the person to raise your children in the event of your death or incapacitation, as well as an alternate in the case that the first choice is not able to care for your children.
When deciding who you want to serve as legal guardian, your lawyer will advise you to make sure the person you choose is:
At least 18 years old, or otherwise of legal adult age
Physically, emotionally, and financially capable of fulfilling the responsibilities associated with taking care of your children
Genuinely invested in the welfare of your children
Capable of including your children in his or her family without it adversely affecting his or her existing family, or your children
Contact an Attorney for Guidance
Do you have additional questions about guardianship, or want to clarify any information you’ve heard previously on the subject? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into guardianship.