Several Things To Know About Legal Guardianship Of A Minor Child

Posted on: 20 June 2018

If you have been caring for your grandchild for the past year or so and do not currently have legal guardianship of this child, you may want to consider making this official through the court system so that you have the rights you need for this child. Legal guardianship offers rights to a caregiver that are equivalent to the rights a parent has over his or her child. Here are several things you should know about this if you are considering taking this path.

You Will Need to Petition the Court

The first thing to understand is that you cannot gain legal guardianship status without going to court. To go to court, you will need to file a petition for legal guardianship. If the parent of this child agrees to give you this right, you should not have any problems with the court approving your request. If the parent of the child does not want this to happen, you may end up in a battle where you must prove that the parent is not fit to have custody of this child. In either case, you will have to attend at least one court hearing; however, you may need to attend more hearings than just one.

Legal Guardianship Gives You Rights and Responsibilities

Secondly, you should understand what legal guardianship is before you go through with the legal process. With legal guardianship status, you will have the right to make decisions for the child. This includes decisions about the child's health, schooling, and extracurricular activities. You will also have the right to discipline the child the way you choose and much more.

In addition to these rights, you will also have responsibilities. You will have to provide the child with a home, food, clothing, and anything else the child needs. You will be financially responsible for all these things, and you will be responsible for the emotional well-being of the child too.

In other words, legal guardianship requires that you treat and raise the child as if he or she was your own child. You take on all the normal responsibilities of raising a child, and you receive all the rights to the child.

If the child's parent ever wants to regain custody of the child, he or she will have to petition the court to do this.

If you are interested in learning more about legal guardianship, you should schedule a visit with a family law attorney in your city, such as Scott Lyons Attorney at Law.