The Inner Workings of a Law Firm

The Inner Workings of a Law Firm

Taking On The Guardian Responsibility

by Jo Rodriquez

When a minor-aged child is in need, the state may step in. Children under the age of 18 hold a special, protected status in the court system. When biological parents are unable to care for a child, a guardian may be appointed by the family court. As a guardian, the legal responsibility is the same as that of a parent. To find out more, read on.

When Are Guardians Needed?

Unless a child has taken legal steps to be emancipated, a guardian may be appointed any time the biological parent is:

  • Ruled unfit.
  • Incarcerated.
  • Deceased.
  • Mentally ill.
  • Missing.
  • Physically unable to care for the child.

Almost anyone can become a child's guardian as long as they pass the court's requirements. That usually means a background check is done on the guardian to be. Often, it is a relative of the child that takes on this task. It's not uncommon for aunts/uncles or grandparents of the child to be appointed as guardian. Guardianship duties can be permanent, but they don't necessarily have to be long-term. For example, if a parent is unable to care for a child due to an illness, a guardianship might be arranged temporarily until the parent recovers.

Parental Rights

Appointing a guardian may be necessary when a parent fails to parent properly. The courts do everything possible to keep children and biological parents together. The parent may be ruled unfit after extensive child study evaluations have been performed — this is not a quick or impulsive action. In some cases, parents have had their parental rights removed — permanently. This can occur when a parent commits serious crimes, abuses the child, or has permanent incapacity issues. When that happens, the parent has no say in what happens to the child. If they have not lost their parenting rights, however, they can challenge the guardianship if they disagree with it.

Legal Powers of a Guardian

Each guardianship is different. When the agreement is formed, the unique circumstances of the situation are taken into account and vary depending on the age of the child, the reasons for the need, and more. In most cases, however, the duties and responsibilities include these:

  1. Providing food, clothing, shelter, and education.
  2. Seeing to any needed medical care along with any psychological care for the child. Children in this position may need therapy as much as they do food and shelter.

Speak to a family lawyer to learn more.


About Me

The Inner Workings of a Law Firm

We all know that lawyers are professionals who help people interpret and work with the law, but do you know how a law firm works from the inside out? I am a professional paralegal, and I have worked in both large and small law firms during my career. I can tell you that a successful law firm needs more than just lawyers to keep it running smoothly, and sometimes things can get really crazy! Take a tour through a law firm in my blog, and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of an active and successful law firm.