Being the parent of a child is pretty cut and dry; that said, child guardianship is a much more complex concept. That’s because, in certain circumstances, guardianship may be granted to someone other than a child’s birth mother or father. Obtaining “guardianship” means giving a person the right and responsibility to provide food, shelter, clothing and basic necessities of a child, and make important choices regarding the child’s well-being, including educational and medical decisions.
Of course, these responsibilities are generally those of a biological or adoptive parent. However, a separate guardian might be needed in certain situations, including:
- Incarceration of a parent
- Admission of the parent into a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program
- Military deployment of a parent
- Physical or mental illness that incapacitates a parent
- A history of child abuse
Child Guardianship Granted
When guardianship is granted, it may be temporary or permanent. In the case of permanent guardianship, the guardian will care for the child until the child is of age. In some cases, the adult may also be granted guardianship of the child’s estate, which means that he or she has the responsibility of managing the child’s assets. This could be important if the child has received an inheritance or trust of some kind.
Obtaining child guardianship is a complicated process. The law requires the fulfillment of many requirements and you must take various steps to ensure you receive the rights you desire. Part of the process requires you to “prove” that you have the ability and resources to care for the child and that you will serve the child’s best interests. A family lawyer skilled and experienced in the field of child guardianship can help you make sure your rights – and the rights of the child – are protected. If you have questions regarding child guardianship, give us a call today.