After the divorce or parent separation, an important issue arises that who will get the legal guardianship of a child. In most cases, one party is willing to take the guardianship. To obtain legal guardianship, one needs to follow some steps and have to go through with some procedures.
First of all, to get started, you need to know and understand the necessary legal process to get guardianship. Then you need to file a claim to the court and so on. So in this writing, we will discuss how you can bring legal guardianship of a child. So keep reading!
Guardianship of a Child
Child guardianship is a kind of relationship between the child and the parents. And the guardian also can be any adult and caregiver. And the guardian of a child has some responsibilities. For example, the education of the child, health care, overall safety, and residence. In some cases, the guardian also has the responsibility to decide for a child.
In general, when the child guardianship concerns, the court always tries to give the parents responsibilities first. The court then focuses on a child’s interests, but getting legal and permanent guardianship is a bit lengthy. A guardian can get legal guardianship after some time.
After getting the legal guardianship, parental rights will not be terminated. The legal guardian needs to fulfill all the financial and emotional responsibilities of the child. Usually, by getting legal guardianship, the parental rights will not be terminated, unless or until:
- When the child is an adult or more than 18 years old
- When the child is married or joined any military forces
- Again when the child dies before being an adult
- When the court will terminate the parental guardianship.
Process of Getting Legal Guardianship of a Child
To get the legal and permanent guardianship, one needs to go through some procedures and laws. Even though there are lots of laws and rules out there. However, these laws and regulations can vary from country to country. So below are given six easy steps to get legal guardianship.
Step 01: Find out the Correct Probate Court
Finding out the correct probate court of your country is the first and foremost step to obtaining legal guardianship. The court should be from the state or country where the child lives. And the court where the child custody order belongs. Then you need to file for legal guardianship of the child.
Step 02: Gather all the Legal Documents
The court will require all the legal documents of the child when you will claim guardianship. Sometimes, the court will let you know what kinds of documents you need to file a claim. But in general, you need to show the child’s birth certificate and your identity certificate to the court.
If the parents of the child are deceased, you need to show their death certificate to the court. And you have to prove to the court that you can take all the child’s responsibilities. And the court will focus on the child’s interest if that child is willing to take you as a guardian.
Step 03: File a Petition
All the court documents and guardianship forms need to be filled accurately and adequately. And one important thing to note is that always try to meet the court deadlines. And the information you are giving to the court about the child and the child’s parents must be right.
You need to file a petition to the court by asking that you want the guardianship of a child. Then you need to fill the petition form and pay the necessary cost. If you have any letter of agreement, you need to attach it in the form.
Step 04: Notify the Parents of the Child
You must notify the child’s parents about the notice that the court sets. And you have to let them know before presenting to the court. The court will give a chance for a trial to present their side. And you need to prove that the child’s parents have given you the authority for the guardianship.
It would be best if you let them know through a formal email or any other process. If you do not notify them, then the court can void your application. If the child’s parents are deceased, you can contact the closest relative of the child or your country’s social service department.
Step 05: Attend the Court
You have to attend all the hearings that are set by the court. You need to bring your legal documents with you when you attend court. So it is always wise to be prepared with all the records and evidence. And the evidence should show that why that child wants you as his or her guardian.
Step 06: Follow the Court Requirements
The court will ensure the child’s best interest, and the guardian will protect the child. That is why the court will visit your home and take a short interview with you. And the court will make sure if you have any criminal records or so on in this regard.
So, you need to follow the court requirements. If you do not follow the court requirements, then your guardianship application may get terminated. It would help if you were so careful from the form fill-up to the guardianship.
Do You Need a Family Law Litigator to Get the Guardianship?
Sometimes, getting a legal guardianship is a bit complicated. And one must show proper documents and evidence to the court to get the guardianship. Also, that person needs to be concerned about the child’s well-being, good care, etc.
Going through all these processes is complicated enough, then you need to consult an experienced family law lawyer. A skilled and experienced lawyer can help you to gather and collect the necessary pieces of evidence and documents. And a lawyer will guide you throughout the process. So it is always recommended for you to hire a skilled and good family law lawyer to get guardianship.
The Final Words
Guardianship of a child not only means the relationship between a child and an adult. But also it includes a lot of responsibilities for a child. So if you want to legalize your guardianship, you must prove to your court that you are capable of taking all the child’s responsibilities.
In the field of getting child custody or child guardianship, the court’s formalities and procedures are a little bit lengthy. So it is wise to hire a family law lawyer to present you in court. So, hopefully, from this article, now you have learned how you can get the legal guardianship of a child.