Indianapolis Guardianship Lawyers Here to Help
There are several reasons someone may be named a legal guardian of someone else. Whether put in place for a minor or an adult unable to care for themselves, guardianships are a legal responsibility to take seriously. The process can be complex and confusing for people without legal knowledge regarding the subject. If you are seeking legal guardianship, a guardianship lawyer may be able to help in the fight.
Call The Law Office of Deidra N. Haynes today at 317-982-7396 for answers to your legal guardianship questions.
What is Legal Guardianship?
Legal guardianship occurs when the court appoints or orders someone to be in charge of the care of a minor or another adult. The guardian will assume legal responsibility for the person, which may mean making legal decisions for the individual, ensuring they are provided with care and a proper standard of living, and/or medical decisions. A legal guardianship may cover all or just some of these aspects, depending on the specifics of the situation and what the judge rules in the case.
Examples of Legal Guardianship
There are a few ways legal guardianships are used to accommodate different situations. While each case is unique and may be impacted by court rulings, guardianship is often seen in a few basic scenarios. One of the most common is the minor child unable to care for themselves being named a ward of a predetermined legal guardian by the child’s parents. This may take place in the event that the parents die or because the parents are unable to care for the child for a variety of reasons such as physical or mental illness, financial struggles, or other reasons. Even if the parents do not name someone as the legal guardian of the child prior to such an event occurring, the person may still have a case for taking legal guardianship over the minor. Another common example of when legal guardianship is necessary is when an adult is deemed unable to care for themselves and requires a guardian. This could result from the adult being mentally or physically handicapped to the point it interferes with their ability to live independently in a safe way. This type of guardianship may also apply to senior citizens unable to care for themselves. If someone is interested in becoming a legal guardian of another person, it often comes from a place of concern. If this is the case, speaking with an experienced legal guardianship lawyer may be helpful in determining whether this measure is suggested or not for the individual.
How is Legal Guardianship Different from Adoption?
Legal guardianship is different from adoption when used for a minor since it can be terminated at any point. It can also be used as a temporary solution, whereas adoption is meant to last until the child is no longer a minor. A guardianship can also be reinstated as needed, which is especially useful for minors where the parent is ill or otherwise unable to care for the child but is not willing to sign away parental rights. Legal guardianship also differs from adoption in that it can be used for adults in need of a guardian. It is also worth noting that a legal guardianship may be made with certain stipulations in place, which may make it the best option in granting the person under the guardianship some control over certain aspects of their life while the legal guardian handles larger decisions.
What Factors Are Considered in a Guardianship Case?
When considering someone to fill the role of a legal guardian, the judge will look at certain markers of character such as criminal record, financial responsibilities, and other aspects presented by the client’s lawyer. The courts will also consider the relationship between the potential guardian and the ward (person under the care of the guardianship). Since the guardian will be able to make legal, medical, and financial decisions on behalf of the ward, the courts want to make sure the intentions of the guardian are in the best interest of the ward. The judge will look at the relationship between the two individuals, as well as factors like how long the guardianship will be in effect, i.e., permanent or on a temporary basis, how well the guardian understands the needs of the ward, and also the ability of the guardian to adequately meet those needs. The judge will also consider what the ward would like to a degree by asking them who they would like to have served as their legal guardian. However, the decision will still be up to the judge in most cases, especially when dealing with minor children or adults unable to make sound choices on their guardianship.
What Does a Guardianship Lawyer Do?
A guardianship lawyer helps clients in a variety of ways during the case. For starters, guardianship lawyers answer any questions about the process and what to expect from start to finish. They will also assist clients in compiling all the necessary paperwork and information needed to seek legal guardianship. Clients are encouraged to provide documents, including birth certificates of the ward, medical records documenting disabilities or other impairments impeding the ward’s care as a legal adult, criminal or protective services records, and more. An experienced guardianship lawyer will be able to help clients determine what records are necessary, based on the case and the ward. Aside from compiling the case, the guardianship lawyer will represent clients in front of the judge as they fight for guardianship. Guardianship lawyers may also be able to help if you are a parent looking to set up a legal guardianship for minor children. The steps of setting up legal guardianship and fighting to obtain one are similar, but will still require the assistance of an experienced legal guardianship lawyer.
Get the Help Your Case Needs Today
The use of legal guardianship is to provide protection and care for someone unable to care for themselves. This may be a step in planning for the future, or it may be a matter of immediate concern for someone’s safety. We understand how important this matter can be for both the ward and the person seeking guardianship. Get the legal answers you need by calling us at 317-982-7396 today to see how we may be able to help.