If you have been wondering how to file for custody or guardianship, Hankey Law Firm can help. With our vast experience in family law, we know the ins and outs of guardianship and custody cases, and we are familiar with what you will need to win your case.
We treat every case with care, as we know that these situations can be far from pleasant to experience. It is our goal to proceed with assertive caution and to represent you and your case fairly and accurately. We provide an array of family law services, so we understand how delicate these matters can be. If you are looking into how to file for guardianship and are searching for “family law practice near me,” get in touch with the team at Hankey Law Firm today!
Guardianship vs. Custody
Before discussing how to file for custody, it is important to understand the differences between guardianship and custody. There is a bit of overlap in their definitions and responsibilities, however, there are also a few striking differences. Let’s check them out.
When talking about custody, it is often regarding a child under the age of nineteen and the biological parents are usually involved. When a biological parent has legal custody of the child, they hold the authority to make any and all decisions for and about the child. Often, this includes anything having to do with their welfare. Education, finances, nutrition, safety, and anything that falls under the canopy of basic human needs and legal human rights.
When talking about guardianship, it is often referring to an adult that is unable to care for or make decisions for themselves, often called an “incapacitated” adult. If guardianship is granted, the guardian becomes a legal caregiver for the adult. The guardian is given the responsibility for the daily care and decision-making ability relating to the incapacitated adult.
Why File for Custody or Guardianship?
There are many reasons why an individual may file for custody of a child. In general, when a parent or someone with custody of a child is unable to make decisions and care for said child, someone else may want to step in and be a custodian for the child. This person may or may not be biologically related to the child, but this ensures that the minor in question will have a responsible adult caring for them, whether they are related or not.
When parents or other custodians are no longer present or no longer have the capability to properly care for a minor, for any reason, a transfer of custody can usually be granted if it is in the child’s best interests. This can include if a parent is mentally or physically unfit, if they have left the family or abandoned their child, or if the care they are providing is less than adequate.
For guardianship, sometimes adults need care beyond what a caregiver can provide at home. The incapacitated adult may require hospitalization or long-term care. The adult will need someone that is able to make daily decisions related to their care when they are unable to do so themselves. They may need someone to apply for Medicaid on their behalf or sign for a medical procedure. A court must appoint someone to be a guardian over an adult and there are several requirements that must be in place to secure this appointment as guardian.
How to File for Custody or Guardianship?
Knowing how to properly file for custody or guardianship can be a tricky business. There are numerous papers to file and various hoops to jump through in order to get where you need to be. While it may not be essential for a family law attorney to interfere in an uncontested custody case, in many cases, it is wise to have legal representation and assistance.
In addition to filing a large amount of paperwork, it is required that you give notice to the required relatives of your intent to file for custody or guardianship. The forms that are necessary to complete all of these steps can be confusing, and there are many terms and conditions and rules to follow. Having legal assistance throughout the process can ensure that no mistakes are made, allowing the case to be processed faster.
Hankey Law Firm & Filing for Custody or Guardianship
Hankey Law Firm has extensive experience in family law services. We believe that the family unit is sacred and should be preserved whenever it is possible to do so. However, we realize that this is not always feasible, and in these cases, we lend our expertise and our legal advice. If you have found yourself searching for “family law practice near me,” or are just looking for a child custody or family law attorney in general, you have come to the right place. Hankey Law Firm can walk you through how to file for custody or guardianship and will stay by your side the entire time. Reach out to us today!