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Guardianship

Practice Areas – Guardianship

Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives someone who is not the parent custody of a child, and/or the power to manage the child’s property (called “estate”).

To become the legal guardian to a child, you first have to file papers in court. Most likely a Petition for Appointment of Guardian of the Person is filed if you are seeking guardianship of the person only. The law requires that certain people, relatives and agencies be given notice that you are seeking guardianship. Notice is required even if you think they do not care or they disagree with you.

A Court investigator will interview both you and the child. If the child’s parents are living and available, the investigator may interview them as well. The investigator will make a recommendation to the judge. Subsequently, there will be a court hearing and the judge will review your case and decide if you can be the guardian.

If the judge agrees that you can be the guardian, s/he will sign your Order Appointing Guardian of the Child. You must then execute the Letters of Guardianship and the forms will be certified and filed by the Clerk’s office.