While it is always beneficial when a child can remain with one or both of his or her biological parents, it is not always possible. There are a variety of circumstances that may necessitate another adult stepping in and acting as guardian on behalf of a child, but the legal process of establishing this sort of protection can be arduous, even when it is clearly in the best interests of the child.
Whether you wish to establish guardianship of an Illinois family member with special needs or you need to legally outline your responsibilities for a minor child, you will find it beneficial to seek the appropriate guidance regarding the steps you need to take.
Guardianships available for the protection of a child
In some families, grandparents or other relatives care for a child, and in others, it may be necessary to establish guardianship of a child with special needs who is over the age of 18. No matter what your situation may be, it could be beneficial to understand how guardianships work and what it means to assume guardianship of a minor child or special needs individual. You may find the following information useful:
- A guardianship is a legal relationship between an adult and a minor child. The guardian will have certain obligations and rights regarding the care of the child.
- A guardianship will typically end upon the death of the child, the child turning 18 or other circumstances that would merit ending the legal relationship.
- If you are caring for a child long-term who is not your biological child, you would be wise to establish a guardianship for the child's protection and your ability to make decisions for the child.
- In some cases, a court may appoint a guardian ad litem, which is a representative to act on behalf of the child. Close relatives are the first choice, but if not available, an attorney can serve in this capacity.
If you are unsure of what is best for your family, you always have the right to seek counsel and guidance regarding these complicated legal concerns. You would be wise to fully understand your rights and options.
Considerations for guardians
Establishing a guardianship may also be necessary if your child received a significant inheritance. No matter what your individual situation entails, you may find it beneficial to take every aspect into careful consideration before you make a significant legal decision. Guardianship can be a rather complex legal issue, but your family does not have to navigate this matter alone.