Guardianships for Children
Life is full of curveballs that can disrupt our lives. Making sure that your loved ones are cared for in the event of an accident or other unfortunate circumstances is extremely important. One way to assure the care of loved ones is through guardianships.
The purpose of a guardianship is to safeguard the rights and interests of minors and incompetent persons. Guardianships are generally made when parents of a minor child are deceased, or they are incapable of caring for their minor children due to mental or physical illness or disability. Also guardianships are set up when a person is incapable of managing their own affairs. A guardian basically has the same rights and responsibilities over the minor children, the “ward,” as would a parent.
Guardian responsibilities over minor
Guardians are not generally responsible to third parties for the acts of the ward, like a parent would be. Their responsibilities include: caring for the ward’s personal effects, protecting their property, receiving money from sources to be used for the ward’s care and support and education. They also have power to authorize medical and professional care and treatment, or consent to the ward’s marriage or adoption.
Assignment can be made in one of three ways:
1.) Court appointment
Court may appoint a guardian that is in the best interest of the child, but a testamentary appointment is preferred. The Court must appoint a person nominated by the minor if the minor is over 14 years of age.
2.) Testamentary or Will
Parents in a will may include the appointment of a guardian upon their death. Courts prefer this type of guardian appointment
3.) Appointment by a local school board, in cases of minor children
A school is able to designate a responsible adult as a guardian for a child whose parents or guardian do not reside in the state.
If a parent consents to guardianship for their child, there is only a suspension of the parent’s custody by circumstances; if the parent requests termination of the guardianship and custody of the child, then the court must grant the parent’s petition, unless the parent’s rights are terminated.
Utah Divorce Hotline Can Help You Establish a Guardianship
Whether you are preparing for the future or unfortunate circumstances have risen in your life, the family law attorneys at Utah Divorce Hotline is the law firm to help you make the difficult choices and protect the interests of your minor children. Give us a call anytime at 801.618.1331 or email us to set up a time to come in and talk with us.