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What Is Guardianship of a Minor?

Guardianship of a minor is the court process during which someone other than a child’s parents is appointed the child’s legal guardian. A legal guardian may have custody of a child, oversight of some part of the child’s welfare, authority over his or her property, or a combination of these responsibilities. Guardianships are established by a court when a minor’s biological parents are unable or unwilling to care for a child, are incapacitated or deceased, or if a child is found to be in an abusive or harmful living environment.

Who Can Be a Legal Guardian?

The court may consider any interested person as a possible legal guardian. This is often a relative or close friend of the family. If you are seeking to be appointed guardian of a child, you will need to file a petition and be approved by the court.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian?

If you are appointed a guardian and a child is named as your “ward” it will not end the legal relationship between the child and his or her biological parents, and they may retain certain rights. However, if you are given custody of a child you will be responsible for providing him or her with food, clothing, and shelter. You will also be fully responsible for the child’s education, medical care, physical and emotional development, safety, and any special needs the child may have. Click here to learn about the differences between guardianship of a minor and a conservatorship.

When or How Does Guardianship of a Minor End?

Your legal guardianship will end once the child reaches the age of 18, or if the child is adopted by you or someone else. Your guardianship will also be terminated if your ward gets married, enters the military, passes away, or is legally emancipated by the court. The legal guardian, the ward, or the child’s biological parents may also choose to petition the court to end a guardianship before the child turns 18.

Your Petition for Guardianship of a Child

Becoming the guardian of a minor is a complex process with several steps that may include an appearance in court, background check, and an investigation. We can handle all of the necessary paperwork for a flat flee, giving you piece of mind and the time to focus on what’s important.

If you are ready to start, click here to contact us for pricing and additional information.