When Is Legal Aid Guardianship Needed?
A guardian is an individual granted the legal authority to care for a child’s best interests. This individual is not the child’s parent.
Still, they do have the responsibility of a parent, which includes making legal decisions and providing, protecting, offering safety and care for the child. Guardians are responsible for providing education, medical care, and fulfilling the child’s basic needs, include those of a incapacitated person as well.
A guardianship is often ordered when one or both parents cannot care for their children due to mental illness, substance abuse problems, or incarceration. A guardianship can also be ordered if the parent is stationed overseas as part of their enlistment in the U.S. military or has checked themselves into a rehabilitation program for alcohol or substance abuse.
Among the factors taken into consideration by the court are the children’s need to be part of a stable, safe, and loving environment and the parent’s ability or inability to provide for their children’s basic needs.
Legal Aid Guardianship vs Adoption
A guardianship differs from adoption because the parents still maintain parental rights. The parents can request that guardianship be terminated if they can demonstrate that they can provide for the child’s care and wellbeing.
Unless otherwise modified or terminated by the court, guardianship remains in effect until a child reaches the age of 18, is emancipated by the courts, is married, or enlists in the U.S. military.
The court will order a guardianship when an adult that is not the parent of the minor child is granted custody of the child, granted control of the child’s property, or both. If the child is residing with an adult who is not that child’s parent, or a child protective order has been issued, then a guardian will be appointed for the child.
A guardianship is often court-supervised, and the parents can request that the guardianship be terminated if they can demonstrate that they are able to provide for the child’s care and wellbeing.
If you need affordable assistance with a guardianship matter, look no further than Family Court Direct. Our legal aid guardianship services make it easy to get the family law help you need. Contact us at 888-826-0324 for a consultation on your case.
How to File for Legal Guardianship
Adult guardianship of a child is a legal process established in a court of law. You might need the help of an experienced family attorney or lawyer to properly petition for your rights.
State and municipal procedures vary, but the steps generally involved in filing for legal guardianship are outlined below.
- Fill out the required forms.
- Have your forms reviewed. You may seek out the assistance of a family law facilitator or a self-help center such as Family Court Direct.
- Make at least three copies of the forms. One copy for yourself, another copy for the people you have to give notice to, and the original documents for the court.
- File the forms with your court clerk.
- Give notice. Someone above 18 must give the copies of the forms in person or by mail on your behalf to the appropriate parties so that they will know you’re petitioning to be the child’s guardian.
- Get completed proof of services forms from the server and file them with the court.
- Get the people who agree with you to sign a consent and waiver of notice form.
- Attend the court hearing.
- File the post-hearing documents.
- Fulfill your responsibilities as a guardian.
Guardianship of the Person
If a guardianship of the person is ordered, then the guardian will be responsible for caring for the child in the same manner expected of the child’s parent. This means that the guardian maintains physical and legal custody of the child and can make all decisions pertaining to the child’s care and wellbeing.
Under a guardianship order, the guardian is required to provide the child with food, shelter and clothing, safety and protection, emotional and physical support, healthcare, and education.
The guardian is also responsible for supervising the child and can be held liable for any intentional damage caused by the child.
When a child has income or property that must be managed until the child reaches the age of 18, the courts may issue a guardianship for that child’s assets.
An estate guardianship is most common in cases where a minor child has inherited money or assets, and the court commonly appoints one of the child’s surviving parents as the guardian of that child’s estate.
Fill out the contact form or call Family Court Direct if you are in need of legal advice.
Where to Apply for Legal Guardianship
We at Family Court Direct have the necessary experience to guide you through the legal guardianship application process. Our legal services are an affordable alternative to lawyers, and we assist with family law litigation in a warm and welcoming environment.
Our legal professionals have years of experience in family law. We can sufficiently explain how to apply for guardianship, help you fill out the necessary forms, and help you navigate through the application process.
We understand that there might be low-income individuals and families who cannot afford legal help. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have your legal issue heard. If you are in need of more useful information, reach out to the team at Family Court Direct for professional advice or representation at an affordable cost.
What Is Needed for Legal Guardianship?
To become a legal guardian and secure adult guardianship, there are specific prerequisites you need to meet. These include the following:
- You must be an adult of the legal age of majority.
- You must be able to fulfill the responsibilities of a guardian.
- You must have ample time to care for the child.
- You must be able to afford to raise the child, either through your own income or through the assets left for the child’s care.
When an application is made for guardianship, the court considers several factors before the application is granted. They are typically as follows:
- The ability to provide for the child.
- Whether a potential guardian has: habitually engaged in alcohol or substance abuse; committed abuse, neglect, exploitation, isolation, or abandonment; prior conviction of a felony; or prior history of domestic violence.
- The order of preference for guardian appointment.
After careful consideration of the above factors, the court decides whether you are eligible as a guardian and may either grant or deny the application.
Are you wondering how to secure adult guardianship for an incapacitated person or a child? Call our office at 888-826-0324 and learn more about how we can assist you.
Cost of Setting Up a Legal Aid Guardianship
The cost of setting up a legal aid guardianship varies based on numerous factors.
Apart from legal fees and court costs, there are other costs involved, such as a medical exam (when seeking guardianship of an incapacitated person) and insurance fees (when seeking guardianship for an individual’s estate).
Family Court Direct can help to significantly reduce these costs by providing a less expensive alternative to attorneys.
Our legal professionals are dedicated to providing self-help services in family law matters, including setting up legal guardianship. Reach out to us today to find out how we can meet your family litigation needs.
Does Legal Aid Help with Guardianship?
Legal aid can be of benefit to individuals dealing with family law, among other cases, which includes the application for guardianship. If you are unable to afford an attorney in family litigation, it is advisable that you seek out legal aid rather than filing your petition yourself.
Family Law & Guardianship
Family law is highly emotive, especially in the context of guardianship, and legal assistance will help you present your case in an organized and professional manner.
Legal aid lawyers have similar qualifications with other lawyers. Therefore, you can expect that anything you say will be confidential and not shared with any other person outside the legal aid office.
At Family Court Direct, we can assist you in navigating family litigation matters, including petitions for legal guardianship and a possible court hearing. We have a nationwide network of legal professionals who can assist you in preparing the necessary documentation for the process of legal guardianship applications and protect your interests, from the petition to the hearing. Contact us today.