When there is a child in your life whose parents are not able to care for them, you may wonder what steps you need to take in order to be able to assist in providing for that child. At Shilts & Setlak LLC, our knowledgeable family law attorneys can assist you in determining whether your case would be best served by becoming a guardian or a third-party custodian of the child. If the child’s parents are willing to enter into an agreement with you with respect to the care and custody of their child, we can assist you with drafting such an agreement. If the case is one that is contested we are well-versed in litigating guardianship and third party custody cases and will present the case to the court that is well thought out and forthright.
Just like each case and set of facts is different, the facts necessary to establish a guardianship versus a third-party custody arrangement are also different. If the need to assist is in the short-term versus a longer period of time, then a guardianship action may be the appropriate avenue to take. It is usually easier to obtain guardianship because often parent’s consent is required. Guardianships are easier to terminate by the biological parent. Third-party custody may be more difficult to obtain, but once obtained, the court applies a more stringent standard on a party trying to overturn or modify the third-party custodial order.
If you are a parent who has received notice that someone is suing you for third-party custody or guardianship of your minor child, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about your rights. You must remember that first and foremost, the court looks to you as the child’s mother or father and at the best interest of the child standard when making decisions in matters such as these. We are experienced at defending parents from unwarranted and unwanted third-party custody and guardianship suits.
Situations arise where you need to become someone’s legal guardian due to a disability or other form of incapacity. The need for a guardianship commonly arises when a disabled child turns eighteen (18) and becomes a legal adult. If the disability suffered by the child will continue into adulthood, they may require a guardian over their person and property and quite frequently, the young person’s parents become their legal guardians. It is also common to see guardianships over siblings or other family members who have become incapacitated. We can assist you, or you and a co-guardian, as you step up to assist someone you love.
Whether you are pursuing custody or guardianship over a child or incapacitated person in your life, or defending your parental rights, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this process. Contact the knowledgeable and understanding attorneys at Shilts & Setlak, LLC today for assistance.