Frequently Asked Questions about Guardianship

questions about guardianshipParenting a child is an unquestionably critical role, but sometimes, parents are either unable or unwilling to care for their biological children. That said, minor children still need to be cared for; that’s where legal guardianship can be a blessing to a child in need. Here are a few oft-asked questions about guardianship:

Who can be a guardian?

Just about anyone can be a guardian. That said, the court will need to determine that a potential guardian is qualified to care for the minor child. Often the guardian is a grandparent, aunt, uncle or adult friend – essentially someone who has an innate interest in the child’s wellbeing.

When does the court appoint a guardian?

The court appoints a guardian to a minor if it determines the child’s biological parents are not able to care for the child. This happens when the parent is unavailable, incarcerated or deceased, found to be unfit due to mental illness, substance abuse or when there has been neglect or abuse in the home. The court may also appoint a guardian if a parent willingly consents to it.

What does a guardian do?

Essentially, a guardian holds the same responsibilities as a parent. This includes providing a stable home, caring for physical and emotional needs, oversees a minor’s finances and personal property, arranges medical care and can legally make any medical, financial and scholastic decisions on behalf of the child.

What are the child’s rights?

If a minor is 14 years or older, he or she has a right to nominate or suggest a person to be his or her guardian. He or she can also object to someone wishing to become a guardian. The minor can also be present at the guardianship hearing and can hire an attorney to protect his or her rights.

Do I need an attorney?

While a petition of guardianship can be filed by anyone, it is extremely helpful to hire an Las Vegas family attorney who can guide you through the process and help ensure the minor in question is protected throughout the case. If you have questions about attaining guardianship, give us a call; we’re happy to help you through the process.