What is Guardianship?
In an ideal scenario, a child is raised by their parents in a way that is conducive to their growth as a person. However, due to a variety of situations, some children are placed under the custody of someone that is not their parent. This is referred to as guardianship within the law. Guardianship is different from adoption for many reasons, among them, being that the legal relationship is permanent, and the parents cannot assume rights once more.
Guardianship can take form by allowing a person to have custody of the child in question and/or manage the child’s estate. The child must be under 18 years old and living with another adult. That adult can then seek guardianship of the child so that they can assume rights and responsibilities to the child.
Having custody of the child means that the guardian has both legal and physical custody. This form of guardianship makes the guardian identical to a parent, in terms of responsibilities. The guardian must provide for the child’s needs and these can range from emotional and special needs to safety and shelter. In essence, the child must be well looked after. Guardianship of the child’s estate is slightly different. The same guardian of a person can also have guardianship of the estate, but another person can also be appointed. The guardian, in this case, must take care of the child’s income, property, and other forms of revenue.
The guardian of a child is not limited to family members. As well as relatives, even people like friends can assume guardianship. In all cases, the court appoints a guardian based on the best interests of the child. If you are seeking guardianship of a child in your care, seek the advice of an experienced lawyer to find out about your rights.