The Guardianship Process

Sometimes grandparents and stepparents, who want to be more involved in a child’s life, wish to obtain legal guardianship. In order to obtain the legal guardianship of a child, some important papers must be filed in court with the help of a Salt Lake City guardianship lawyer.

After you have filed your petition, the court will schedule interviews with the child’s parents or anyone else in charge of the children. A home inspection may also be required as well as a criminal background check. All decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. If the court determines your guardianship will benefit the children, you will be granted your petition. After the guardianship is approved, the petitioner needs to establish it. This process can be difficult without a qualified Salt Lake City guardianship lawyer by your side.

Establishing guardianship

Life is full of surprises. This is why you must prepare in case you can’t raise your children. Find someone you trust and establish legal guardianship. You can also write it down in your will. It’s good having two people in mind, just in case one fails. You can choose a guardian for each child. However, having more than one guardian can also create problems if the guardians don’t agree. Some things you should keep in mind when choosing a guardian:

  • The guardian must be a legal adult.
  • The guardian should be interested in your child’s well-being.
  • Physically capable to handle these additional responsibilities.
  • Enough time to take care of the kids.
  • If the guardian has children, how this will affect your children?
  • Is the guardian going to afford to raise your children?
  • Moral values should be similar to yours.

Leaving an explanation

It may be a good idea to leave a letter with details about why you choose a particular legal guardian. Just remember that judges generally take into account the best interest of the child when making these important decisions, therefore, you should explain why the person you chose for this role will do a good job raising your children. Some things you may consider include:

  • How stable the person is and the cares they will offer.
  • Your child’s preference and needs.
  • How is the relationship between your child and a possible guardian?

When parents don’t consent

Although there are some scenarios that may qualify you to obtain guardianship, even when a parent objects, in most cases the parent’s permission is required. Unless you can prove the parents are unfit or they have abandoned the child, the judge generally respects the parent’s decision. However, there are times when removing the child from a parent’s custody is the best decision and the court considers it in the best interest of the child.

We can help you with your guardianship matter

If you want to apply for guardianship, keep in mind the process can be complex and other family members may try to challenge your request. It’s not advisable handling your own case. Contact us today and schedule your initial case evaluation with family law attorney Emy A. Cordano.

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