How does a guardian get appointed?
To obtain appointment as a guardian, forms must be filled out and filed with the local probate clerk. Afterwards a court investigator will interview you and the child. If the child’s parents are alive and available, the investigator may interview them as well. The investigator will make a recommendation to the judge. If there are no objections to your appointment and, after reviewing the case, the judge finds that your appointment is in the child’s best interested, you will likely be appointed as its guardian.
An individual can seek a guardianship on their own. But, it takes time and energy to fill out court forms correctly and to “give appropriate notice” to all relatives. Without legal assistance, mistakes are often made because the forms and rules for notice are complicated. If they are not followed exactly the case will not proceed in a timely manner.
An attorney can help present your case to the court, especially if one or both parents object to the guardianship. Our office has the ability to handle all guardianship matters. If you’d like more information please contact us.
Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. A special guardian may, for example, be given the legal right to determine the disposition of the ward’s property without being given any authority over the ward’s person. A guardian appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to a single action in litigation is a guardian ad litem.
Some jurisdictions allow a parent of a child to exercise the authority of a legal guardian without a formal court appointment. In such circumstances the parent acting in that capacity is called the natural guardian of that parent’s child.