There are cases wherein a child would get relegated to the care of a person other than the parents and this usually happens in cases of the parents getting into an accident, grave illness or even death. To do this, you need official guardianship forms. However, these forms don’t serve as an alternative to filing an official guardianship case. Make sure to specify when filing your legal guardianship form, whether the guardianship is either permanent or temporary.
Table of Contents
- 1 Guardianship Forms
- 2 What is a guardianship form?
- 3 Temporary Guardianship Forms
- 4 What does it mean to become a legal guardian of a child?
- 5 Temporary Guardianship Without Court
- 6 Types of guardianship forms
- 7 Legal Guardianship Forms
- 8 How do I get guardianship papers?
- 9 Can you file for guardianship without a lawyer?
- 10 Free Guardianship Forms
- 11 How to get guardianship of a child without going to court?
What is a guardianship form?
As stated earlier, you use guardianship forms when you need to officially transfer guardianship from one person to another. Although its main purpose is to determine who gets to take care of the minor or a mentally incapacitated adult, you can also use a temporary guardianship form where a parent cannot care for the child anymore for whatever reason.
One good example of needing free guardianship forms is when an active duty member of the military gets sent overseas. In such a case, you may utilize a temporary guardianship form to grant another individual to care for the child temporarily. The requirements of the form vary for each state although all of them may require the same basic information. For instance, you should include the names of the following persons:
- The current guardians or parents.
- The child or ward.
- Any temporary, supplemental or potential guardians.
Before writing a temporary guardianship letter or filling up a form, you should first talk to the individual you plan to list as a guardian to ensure that they feel comfortable accepting the responsibility.
Temporary Guardianship Forms
What does it mean to become a legal guardian of a child?
As a legal guardian, the person will take daily decision-making and care for the child too. Generally speaking, the legal guardian will take over the upbringing and care of the child including all of the parental decisions. The official guardian stated in the guardianship letter can:
• Request for or accept medical treatment on the behalf of the child.
• Enroll the child in any preferred school in his/her community.
• Provide everything needed for the general welfare of the child.
Of course, legal guardians have some limitations too. For one, guardianship forms don’t include financial responsibilities as these remain with the child’s parents. In many cases, however, the guardians may also provide financial support for the child. But this depends on the situation and the agreement between the parents and the guardian.
Temporary Guardianship Without Court
Types of guardianship forms
Guardianship is a legal process aimed at protecting individuals who aren’t capable to care for their own well-being because of infancy, disability or incapacity. The court appoints the legal guardian who will take charge of the individual’s care.
As a legal guardian, the person has the legal authority to make the decisions for their wards while representing the financial and personal interest of the ward. The type of legal guardianship form depends on the type of guardianship needed:
- Guardianship of a minor
The court appoints a guardian to care for a minor who isn’t the parent of the child. The court can assign this type of guardianship in different situations:
In cases of abandoned minors.
In cases where a minor’s parents died.
In cases where the parents of the minor don’t have the capacity to provide proper care.
The legal guardian stated in free guardianship forms can be a friend, a member of the family or another person that the court feels will act on the interest of the minor. As the legal guardian of a minor, the guardian may receive physical custody or act as a financial guardian who manages the property or assets of the minor.
- Guardianship of a child
Adults who receive custody of a child will get the responsibility of providing for the child’s needs. Often, the parents of the child will still be legally obligated to continue with financial support. As for the guardian in the temporary guardianship letter, he/she has the following responsibilities:
To ensure the child will always receive the basic necessities like shelter, food, education, medical care, and clothing.
To consent for the child and make all of the decisions involving the child’s education and health.
To maintain custody of the child until the child reaches 18 years of age or until the court decides that he doesn’t need guardianship anymore.
- Guardianship of an estate
If a minor owns a lot of properties or a large amount of money, the court may appoint a guardian of the estate who will protect and manage those assets. This guardian will have the responsibility of making all of the financial decisions on behalf of the minor until the minor reaches 18 years of age or until the minor’s assets have been completely depleted.
- Guardian ad litem
This type of guardian gets appointed by the court to represent the interest of a minor in legal proceedings like in probate matters, divorce cases, and in other situations where the minor experienced abuse or neglect.
Guardians ad litem get appointed by the court as conservators to protect the interests of incapacitated persons or the elderly. There are certain steps to take before a guardian gets appointed because the guardianship may deprive the individual of personal rights.
An individual has a right to notice or representation by a counsel before any guardianship proceedings. Also, during the proceeding, the individual has a right to attend, present evidence, and confront witnesses.
The guardian who gets appointed by the court must respect the ward’s wishes and provide the ward with enough autonomy. Guardianship of the incapacitated or the elderly can entail either guardianship of the estate, guardianship of the person or both.
- Guardianship of a person
This type of guardianship requires the guardian to make decisions involving the support and care of an incapacitated or elderly person. The position entails the following responsibilities:
To agree to and keep an eye on medical treatment, organize professional services, check the living conditions of the person, and make end-of-life decisions or preparations.
To consider the desires and wishes of his ward, along with their personal and physical needs when making decisions.
To continue guardianship until the ward dies or until the court deems the guardianship unnecessary.
In cases where the person owns a lot of properties of assets, the guardian also assumes responsibility for the personal property of his ward. This entails other responsibilities like:
To make the decisions on how to protect or preserve assets, distribute earnings, and get appraisals for the properties.
To continuously inform the court of the status of the person’s properties and assets.
To continue with his responsibilities until the person dies or until the court decides that the person no longer needs a legal guardian.
Legal Guardianship Forms
How do I get guardianship papers?
The guardianship of a child can get established by filing documents in court. You need to first file a petition where you state your interest in becoming a guardian. Moreover, you will need a guardianship letter with consent from the parents of the child.
After filing the necessary papers, the court will then schedule interviews with you, the child, the parents of the child, and anyone other people who might have an interest. At times, the court may require a home inspection or visit and possibly, a criminal background check of the prospective guardian too.
Upon approval by the judge of the guardianship petition, you as the petitioner will grant an order to appoint guardianship. Make sure to check the local website of your government for further instructions. Some of these free guardianship forms are readily downloadable so all you have to do is fill them up then file them.
Can you file for guardianship without a lawyer?
Legal guardianship is a legal status allowing an individual to care for an adult or a minor and make decisions on their behalf. The laws that govern guardianships could differ between states. However, in most jurisdictions, you must file a petition with the court to become a legal guardian. You can also file temporary guardianship without court to obtain legal guardianship of a person without hiring a lawyer but it’s still recommended to retain counsel to avoid any legal issues.
Free Guardianship Forms
How to get guardianship of a child without going to court?
The legal way of becoming a guardian entails filing the necessary papers with the court through different steps that would lead to a court hearing. You might not even need the services of a lawyer. The process for guardianship takes energy and time, from filling all of the required forms to giving notice to all of the relatives concerned. In the process, mistakes might occur.
Both rules and forms are quite complicated and if not properly followed may require you to keep going back, consequently, taking more time to process your case. There are also times when you will need a lawyer, especially when both the parents would object to the guardianship. Consult with a lawyer if:
- The child owns property or assets with great value.
- There are any legal cases that involve the child or there is an existing child custody issue like adoption, juvenile charges, custody in family court, and more.
- The child has special needs.
- The child is a Native American. In such a case federal laws will apply.