Got A Question?

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.

Guardianships

Types of Guardianships

A guardianship is when a person is appointed by the court to take care of the person or property of another.   This can be a Regular Guardianship, Limited or Special Guardianship, or Relative Guardianship, or Permanent Guardianship.

The most common type of Guardianship is the Relative Guardianship. This is similar to the Regular Guardianship in the process and procedure but the filing fees are reduced for family placements.

Common Terms:

Guardian- The person who is appointed or named by the Court to make decisions over another person or the other person’s property/estate.

Ward- The child or person over whom a guardian is appointed or named.

Guardianships are temporary in nature. The legislative intent is to have children return to their parents as soon as feasible or possible.

There are two main reasons for a Guardianship:

  1. Necessity
  2. Convenience

Many times there will be a Guardianship for Convenience because a parent needs to be out of town for an extended period of time and the child(ren) will be placed with a trusted relative or friend for that temporary period. This is often necessary to allow the Guardian to provide the necessary care in the parent’s absence.

More often the Guardianship is requested for Necessity, because the parents are unable to provide necessary care for a child. This is sometimes done in cases where the parents have issues with substance abuse, interaction with law enforcement (incarcerated) or have abandoned a child.

There is a Limited/Special Guardianship available for emergency situations. This is often used when a child has been abandoned.  This will enable the Guardian to make immediate decisions regarding the care of the child. It may be obtained in an ex parte hearing (hearing without notice) in an effort to allow the Guardian to take care of the needs of the child or incapacitated adult right away. 

There are many necessary reports and filings to be done with the Court for a lawful Guardianship. Some of these forms may be found on the Court’s website to assist the Pro se (representing themselves) litigant.  An attorney experienced in this area can be very helpful, especially if the Guardianship is contested. If the Parents of the child object to the Guardianship the Judge will make the determination as to the necessity of the Guardianship and best interest of the child.