Understanding Guardianship in Family Law
When it comes to family law, guardianship can be a complex and emotional topic. Guardianship is a legal relationship established by a court that gives a person (guardian) the authority to make decisions and to act on behalf of another person (ward). The ward is usually a minor or an incapacitated individual who is unable to make decisions for themselves.
The guardian has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the ward and provide for his or her physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Guardianship can be temporary or permanent and can be granted for specific areas such as medical decisions or for all areas of decision making.
Types of Guardianship
There are two main types of guardianship in family law: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate.
Guardianship of the person
refers to the responsibility of caring for the ward's physical and emotional needs. This includes making decisions about the ward's education, healthcare, and general welfare.
Guardianship of the estate
refers to the responsibility of managing the ward's financial affairs, including managing their assets, paying bills, and making investments.
Guardianship can be established in two ways:
Agreement between the parties involved
In court-established guardianship, a judge will consider the ward's best interests and may appoint a guardian after reviewing relevant evidence and testimony.
In an agreement-based guardianship, the parties involved reach a consensus on who should be the guardian and the terms of the guardianship.
Guardianship can be terminated in several ways, including:
The ward reaches the age of majority
The ward regains capacity to make decisions for themselves
The guardian resigns or is removed by the court
The guardianship is no longer necessary
Guardianship is a serious responsibility that should be entered into with care and consideration. It is important to fully understand the responsibilities and obligations involved in being a guardian and to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
At Lone Peak Law, we understand the complexities of guardianship and are here to help guide you through the process. Our experienced legal team will work with you to ensure that your rights and the rights of your loved ones are protected.