Guardianship occurs when the custody of a minor child or an incapacitated adult is given to a third party. For minor children, this is often done when parents are unavailable; parents may also become guardians of their incapacitated adult children or other family members who cannot care for themselves (as determined by certain factors). Any legal adult may petition the court for guardianship, usually of a relative. The guardianship process is not the same as determining custody or visitation– it is a different set of procedures and statutory framework.
Guardianship issues can be complicated, especially when trying to determine if an adult is considered incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. It’s very important to handle these issues with dignity, sensitivity, and care to ensure the well-being of of everyone involved, especially the person whose guardianship needs are in question. If it’s a child that needs guardianship, immediate steps have to be taken to ensure the short term safety and stability of the children while also considering their long term needs.
Let me work with you to evaluate and strategize your guardianship case. I can help you set the proper expectations for what will likely happen and what needs to be done to accomplish your short- and long-term guardianship goals.