For those interested in learning how to gain guardianship of a child or children, there are a number of concerns that entail in such an important procedure. Primarily, you’ll want to get a comprehending of the legal process required to begin, not to mention the considerations thought of by the court. Keep reading to find answers to frequently asked questions about establishing guardianship of a child(ren).
What is the process in establishing guardianship of a child or children?
You can gain guardianship of a child by filing documents through the court. To begin, file a petition declaring your interest in gaining guardianship in addition to a filing fee. You will additionally want to file a letter of consent from the parents of the child.
After you’ve filed your petition, the court will plan interviews with you and maybe the child, the child’s parents, if available, and any other individuals who may be interested. In many cases, the court could order a home visit or assessment, and a criminal background check of the potential guardian is typically conducted.
Following the judge approving your guardianship petition, they’ll present you with an order to establish guardianship. Make sure to examine your local government’s website for guidelines; many even have forms you for download that you can, print, fill out, and file within the court.
Am I able to designate a legal guardian for my own children?
Indeed, and doing so is great planning. In the untimely event that you become in capable of bringing up your children, you need to determine a guardianship for them with an individual you trust. The wisest way to do this is to detail it in your will.
Decide on someone that you trust and add a stipulation to your will that you want that individual to bring up your children should you become incapacitated. In your will, designate one individual as guardian and one individual as an alternate (in the case of the first one unable to fulfill the position) for each and every one of your children. It is legal to designate a different guardian for each of you children. You may even designate more than one guardian for one of your children, although this has the possibility to produce problems if the co-guardians ever disagree with one another. Designating a married couple usually works well but appoint both in your will to guarantee that they’ll have legal custody/authority to make decisions for your child(ren).
When deciding on a legal guardian, consider that the guardian needs to have these conditions:
- Are required to be a legal adult;
- Are required to be physically able to carry out the responsibilities.
- Are required to have plentiful time to care for your child(ren); and
- Are required to be capable to afford to bring up your children, through their own income or through assets you leave to take care of the child(ren).
Am I required to explain my choice of legal guardian for my children?
It’s always wise to leave a letter of clarification for any judge that might question your choosing of legal guardian. Since judges apply the best interest of the child conventional, it’s a good idea to clarify why the guardian you decided on is in your child(ren)’s best interest. Judges think about the following:
- Who the child prefers;
- Who is able fulfill the child’s requirements, stability, and constant care;
- The relationship among the child and possible legal guardian; and
- The ethic character, suitability, and behavior of the potential guardian.
What if the child’s parents don’t agree? Am I still able to determine guardianship of the child?
Typically, guardianship is only granted if:
- The parents agree (each parent, unless there is just one is available);
- The parents have deserted the child or had their parental rights revoked; or
- A judge discovers it would be in the child’s best interest to withdraw the child from the parents’ custody.
Specific situations will arise that enable you to acquire legal guardianship of the child in spite of the parents’ objections. In a lot of cases, this involves demonstrating the parents are unsuitable.
In addition to the parents, the other family members of the child(ren) do have rights to be informed and to protest your quest of guardianship. Even though you don’t need approval from each of these relatives, their protests might be damaging to your quest of guardianship of the child (and can produce tension even when guardianship is awarded). If this occurs, be sure to speak with an attorney straight away.
How demanding are the responsibilities of legal guardianships?
It isn’t an easy job being a minor’s legal guardian. There are a lot of responsibilities, including financial commitments and time spent with the child. When the biological parents are still living and remain to have rights of the child, like physical child custody or visitations, then they are financially obligated for the child. If their rights have been taken away, then they owe nothing against the care of the child.
In a lot of cases, you’re taking on all the responsibilities a parent would. Prior to taking on the role, think about the following:
- Do I want the ongoing obligations of a legal guardianship?
- Am I prepared to accept full accountability for the actions of the child?
- Do I want to take on the role as the legal parent for this child for the complete guardianship?
- Are the parents going to support my guardianship, or be aggressive?
- How is the guardianship going to impact my own family, my health, my job, and overall life?
- Turning into the legal guardian of a child is a big responsibility with a lot of things to think about. Think thoroughly about the aforementioned questions and plan fittingly.
Discuss Your issues About How Establishing Guardianship of a Child with an experienced Attorney
You want to request for guardianship. You know you can manage the job and are willing to do anything at all to turn that dream into a reality. But the laws of guardianship can be overwhelming, and you’ll want to do everything correctly the first time. An ideal first step is to speak with an experienced family law attorney that can assist you in mapping out a strategy plan. Begin today and locate a family law attorney near you.
Arizona Family Law
Naming guardians in your will can be part of your estate plan. You may think you’re too young or don’t have enough money to justify the expense, but if you have children, you have priceless assets. There are many considerations when naming guardians for your kids. However, the process doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.