Unfortunately, sometimes parents are unable to provide their children with a loving and stable environment. It is essential that each child be raised in a home that makes their health, safety and welfare an ultimate priority. If a parent in unable or unwilling to care for his/her child, then the court may appoint a guardian to have custody rights over the child and/or manage the child’s property. These situations typically arise if the parents have addiction and/or mental health issues, are incarcerated, have a history of abuse and/or neglect, or cannot physically be present for the child.
If a minor child is under the care of an individual who is not the parent, it is essential to obtain a guardianship so that person can make decisions on behalf of the child.
Anyone who is suitable to raise a child may petition the court for guardianship, including family members and friends.
In order to obtain a guardianship, the Petitioner must prove that it would be detrimental to the child to be in the parents’ care and it would be in the child’s best interest to be under the care of the guardian. Once an individual obtains guardianship, then the guardian has full legal and physical custody over the child, and is responsible for the child’s health, safety and welfare. Guardianships may be temporary depending on the circumstances, and biological parents may obtain visitation and custody rights.
To learn more about the process of obtaining a guardianship and what your duties as a guardian would entail, contact Law Office of Elisabeth Donovan to speak with an experienced family law attorney.