Guardianships

A guardian is a person appointed by a court to be legally responsible for another person and/or for another person’s property. In the case of a minor child, a guardian is appointed to oversee the personal care of the child in the parents’ absence. A guardianship may be voluntary, which means that the parent consents or guardianship can be contested, wherein the court will hear the matter and determine if a guardianship is needed. In a contested guardianship, the court will not only consider the best interests of the child but the fitness of the natural parent. Once appointed, a guardian is responsible for providing proper care for the minor child.

A guardianship can be permanent or temporary. A temporary guardian is appointed by the court without a formal hearing when an emergency exists. It is limited to a specified period not to exceed 60 days, and to obtain this type of guardianship one must show that it is necessary to prevent injury to the child. I understand the emergency needs that can arise regarding the well-being of a child and am quick to respond to ensure a child’s safety.  In today’s society, where extended family, particularly grandparents, often step into the role of acting parent for a child in need, the guardianship process is helpful to establish custody and provide medical, school and related authorities to the acting parent in a legally defined manner.