Divorce and child custody are extremely stressful and complex matters. The possible legal matters become even more complicated when you are the legal guardian of the children that are involved. A lot of people are uninformed of the disparities between legal guardianships, adoptions, and child custody, in which are all subject to particular laws and regulations. It is important to be aware of the rights and obligations of a legal guardian, how a legal guardianship is awarded, and how a legal guardianship is discontinued, prior to making any significant decisions that may influence your guardianship. You might require assistance navigating the intricacies of divorce in Phoenix, AZ, and a knowledgeable family law attorney can assist you in understanding your options associated to guardianship and divorce.
What Is A Legal Guardianship?
A legal guardianship is a relationship acknowledged by the court where one individual is responsible for taking care of another individual, typically a minor child. The individual who is getting the care is called a “ward.” A legal guardianship could sometimes be created on behalf of someone with a mental or physical disability, but it usually always is in reference to a non-parent adult that is responsible for taking care of a child whose parents are no longer able of bringing them up. Any adult (typically ages eighteen or twenty-one and over) that has the means to provide for a child may request to be named their legal guardian. Along with a lasting “permanent guardianship,” the court can also establish a guardian in an emergency or on a non-emergency momentary basis.
How To Become A Legal Guardian
To determine legal guardianship, you are required to file a petition within the court and pay a fee for it to be filed. After the petition to gain guardianship has been received, the court will deem whether the petition is in the child’s best interest. The court’s examination could comprise of background checks, interviews, and more to ascertain if the child is going to be best served under your care.
Legal Guardianship Vs. Adoption
There are many sensible resemblances between guardianship and adoption, particularly in daily life. Legal guardians have the right to make legal decisions concerning the child and can act as a surrogate parent in a lot of cases. Nevertheless, a legal guardianship won’t impact the child and their biological parent’s relationship. It is less long-term than adoption, in which permanently alters a child’s legal relationship with their biological parents. In adoptions, the biological parents relinquish all their legal rights to the child, turning the adoptive parents into the child’s only parents according to the law. The temporariness of the guardianship makes it more likely that divorce could alter the circumstances. Since the biological parents keep legal rights in legal guardianships, a significant life change such as divorce could cause a biological parent to challenge whether your care stays suitable for their child.
Legal Guardianship & Child Custody
When a court establishes custody of a child, it details the responsibilities the child’s parents has for their care. Legal guardianship puts a lot of the same responsibilities on an adult that isn’t one of the child’s parents. When a parent is presently in custody of a child, it is improbably that the court will award a legal guardianship. In all issues in regard to child custody, the court is centered on the child best interests; the court will typically only think about it in the child’s best interest to be placed with a legal guardian when the biological parents can’t offer care. A freshly devised legal guardianship could also cause the court to reexamine the original custody agreement; for instance, if a father was in the past awarded visitation rights by the court and the mother got physical custody, in the situation that the mother becomes incapacitated, the court might rethink the father’s visitation.
Termination Of Legal Guardianship
In cases of a permanent guardianships, the guardianship will typically finish when the child reaches eighteen years of age or if the judge established that the guardianship is no longer required. Nevertheless, a legal guardianship happens with the approval of the biological parents, meaning that a biological parent may request the court to terminate the guardianship. Subject to the relationship among you and the biological parents, your divorce might cause one or both parents to cancel their approval for the guardianship. Prior to making any decisions, seek the counsel of a knowledgeable lawyer in your area and make sure you’re ready for how your divorce might impact your guardianship.
Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer in Arizona
Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring a divorce attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.