There may be many occasions that arise where a child is in need of guardianship. This can happen if the child’s biological parents are no longer able to care for the child, or they have unfortunately passed away. There also may be instances of abuse or neglect and a different living environment would be in the best interests of the child. In any of the aforementioned situations, guardianship may be a good option when deciding how to get the child the best care it deserves. Guardianship is established to ensure the child’s personal needs are taken care of. This includes their physical, emotional well being as well as a healthy and stable living environment.
How is Guardianship Established?
To establish guardianship of a minor in Kansas, you must file a petition and other necessary court documents. This filing initiates the process, then service must be made and a court hearing must be attended. After evaluating the entire situation and all relevant facts, a judge will make a decision and either grant or deny the guardianship request. A court order will be given if the judge feels a guardianship is the best option for the child. This order stands as legal proof that you are the guardian of the child and also provides you with the ability to make important decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions can range from medical care, to education or travel. After guardianship is established, you may be required to submit initial and annual reports or inventories, depending on the type of guardianship you are granted.
Who Can File for Guardianship?
A variety of people can file for guardianship of a minor. Oftentimes it is the grandparents, a relative or a loved one who is close with the child. The person petitioning for guardianship must be eighteen (18) years old and may have to consent to background checks or minor investigations depending on the city in which you wish to file for guardianship. If the child is over the age of fourteen (14) the court will highly consider their preference in choosing a guardian. The court feels the child is old enough at this age to give informed opinion and nomination based on who they feel would be a good guardian.
Types of Guardianship
Depending on the needs of the child, the court may grant a permanent guardianship, a standby guardianship or a temporary guardianship. All serve relatively the same function and provide the same care and benefit to the child, however for different lengths or purposes. A permanent guardianship is the most long term and would only end upon court termination, death of the guardian or when the child reaches the majority age of eighteen. On the other hand, a standby guardianship is put in place proactively to ensure if anything were to happen to the current guardian or the parents, the assigned standby guardian would step in and assume the role and responsibilities. A Temporary Guardianship is granted for urgent or emergency situations. This may arise if something suddenly happens to the child’s parents or the child urgently needs care for whatever reason.
If you are considering guardianship, or know a child who needs a guardian, let us help you through the process. We know the process can be difficult and we want to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family. Our experienced Kansas Family Law Attorney has extensive knowledge in the area of guardianship and has helped many children and families through the guardianship process. We will put your family at ease throughout the guardianship process and take care of everything so you don’t have to. Call McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can successfully assist you with your minor guardianship matter.