In certain circumstances, it is necessary for the Probate Court to determine someone other than a child’s parent(s) should have custody of a child and/or manage the child’s property or estate. This occurs when one or both parents cannot care for their children anymore. In a guardianship, parents will still have parental rights and reasonable visitation with the child. Guardians are usually supervised by the Probate Court.
There are two types of guardianships to consider: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate.
In a guardianship of the person proceeding, the court will determine who has the responsibility to care for a minor child. This includes legal and physical custody of a child. Having legal custody of a child entitles the custodian to make decisions regarding a child’s health, education and welfare. Becoming the physical custodian of a minor requires the guardian to provide food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and supervision, among other things for the child.
In a guardianship of the estate proceeding, the court appoints a non-parent to manage a child’s income, money, or other property until the child turns 18. A guardian of a child’s estate may be required to wisely invest a child’s money and carefully manage the child’s property.
The attorneys at Lewis, Warren & Setzer have experience guiding those people who are faced with needing to obtain guardianship over a minor child or several children. Please contact us to schedule a consultation if you are seeking a guardianship or already involved in such a proceeding.