Guardianship is the process of taking legal responsibility for another person without permanently adopting them. Guardianship can be a voluntary or involuntary process. Guardianship may be granted over adults or minors.
In a voluntary Guardianship, a person with legal responsibility for himself or another person nominates a Guardian over the person for whom he has responsibility. The Courts may or may not be involved in this process. If the Courts are not involved, the Guardianship is only valid for six months before it must be renewed. Where the Courts do get involved, Guardianship can continue until such time as it is no longer needed.
In an involuntary Guardianship, the prospective Guardian must request Guardianship over the prospective Ward from the Court. The prospective Guardian must prove to the Court that the Guardianship is necessary. In the case of an adult Guardianship, the prospective Guardian must prove that the prospective Ward is unable to care for him or herself. Such proof is usually is provided through a medical and/or psychiatric examination wherein the prospective Ward is deemed incompetent to continue self care. In the case of a Guardianship for a minor, the prospective Guardian must prove that the child’s current caretakers are incapable of caring for the Child. Such proof usually comes in the form of reports from Child Protective Services, Police Reports, Child Interviews, or reports from Court-Approved Child Psychiatrists.
At Smith Legal Group, we are experienced in navigating the pitfalls that can crop up in a Guardianship case. We know what to look for when seeking Guardianship and how to obtain Guardianship in cases where the Guardianship is being contested. If you believe an adult or minor in your life is in need of a Guardianship, call Smith Legal Group today. Together, we can put together a case plan to ensure that the potential Ward has the care that they need.