Sometimes, it’s necessary for a child to live with a Legal Guardian instead of a parent. This might happen if the child is orphaned, has one or both parents in prison, or has parents who are unwilling or unable to take care of the child for another reason. If you have questions about guardianships of minor children, discover the answers here.
What is a Legal Guardian?
A Legal Guardian cares for a minor’s needs by providing food and housing and arranging education and medical care. Usually, this person is someone other than the child’s parent.
Guardians are also often tasked with managing the child’s finances, especially if they have received more than $10,000 in assets or property and need administration assistance. Sometimes, guardianships are granted solely to manage a child’s estate, not to provide for their basic needs.
How Does Guardianship Differ from Adoption?
Guardianship is a legal relationship between a minor child (or an adult) and a guardian that grants certain legal rights. However, unlike adoption, it does not sever the legal ties between the child and their biological parents. The relationships can coexist, which is beneficial in many situations.
What Must Happen for a Guardianship to End?
Several events can trigger the end of a guardianship:
- The child reaches age 18.
- A judge determines that the guardianship is no longer necessary or beneficial.
- The sole purpose of the guardianship was to manage the minor’s estate, and the assets have been exhausted.
- The guardian requests to be relieved. In this case, the court will appoint a new guardian.
Should I Become a Guardian?
If you have a child in your care whom you plan to provide for long-term, consider becoming a guardian. This legal status makes it easier to enroll the child in school, get medical care when needed, and more.
Even if you’re the child’s biological parent, guardianship may benefit you if the child inherits property, receives a court settlement, or is owed money totaling tens of thousands of dollars. By setting up guardianship, you can legally manage these assets with no reluctance from the court.
How Do I Become a Guardian?
In most cases, the court appoints guardians. Minors over age 14 may nominate a guardian, and the child’s parents may do the same in their will or durable power of attorney. The court usually appoints these nominees unless there’s reason to believe they’re not qualified.
Prospective guardians can also nominate themselves. In most cases, this involves proving that the child’s parents or current caretakers are ill-suited to have custody of the child. Proof can come from personal testimony, interviews with the minor, Child Protective Services reports, police reports, or court-ordered reports.
Contact a Guardianship Attorney in Nevada
Are you seeking guardianship or struggling with a contested guardianship case? Reach out to Smith Legal Group for help. Together, we can build a case to ensure the child you care about gets the guardianship they deserve. Call us at 702-410-5001 or contact us online today for a free consultation with a guardianship lawyer in Las Vegas.