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How to Obtain Legal Guardianship of a Child

Posted on in Family Law
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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-3.jpgA guardian has the same responsibilities to a child as a child’s biological parent. An individual may obtain legal guardianship of a child in Illinois because a child’s biological parents cannot properly care for them, a child’s biological parents passed away in a tragic accident, a minor child is living with a disability, or senior adults do not have the ability to care for themselves.

Types of Guardianships

In Illinois, an individual can become a permanent legal guardian, a guardian ad litem, a standby guardian, or a short-term guardian. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these four types of guardianships are defined.

  • Permanent Legal Guardian: A permanent legal guardian has the same duties any biological parent would have and must provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and education, and the other necessities of life.
  • Guardian Ad Litem: An individual who the court appoints to examine the facts of a child’s case and then makes a recommendation that the court typically accepts is considered a guardian ad litem.
  • Standby Guardian: There may be a standby guardian in the event a child’s biological parents lose their life or suffer from a disability and are unable to care for their children.
  • Short-Term Guardian: An individual who is appointed to care for a child for a year or less is known as a short-term guardian.

Requirements for Becoming a Guardian in Illinois

In order to become a guardian for a child, requirements outlined in the Illinois Probate Act must be met. A legal guardian must be at least 18 years of age and a mentally stable United States resident who is not disabled. In addition, they cannot have any convictions related to threatening or hurting children.

To become a guardian for a child, a guardianship petition will need be filed. In the petition, there should be information related to the identity of the child, the child’s siblings, the child’s financial situation, and the reasons why a court appointed guardian is necessary for the child. The Probate Court will appoint a guardian for the child if the child’s parents:

  • Cannot provide the child with proper care
  • Learned about guardianship proceedings but did not show up 
  • Gave up custody of the child to the guardian 
  • Consent to appointing a guardian 

During a court hearing, the child’s circumstances will be thoroughly investigated so that a decision about whether a guardian makes sense for them can be made. 

Reach Out to Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys

If you would like to obtain legal guardianship of a child, it is in your best interest to contact our DuPage County family law attorneys today. We will guide you through the petition process and help ensure you are granted guardianship if it is right for the child. In addition, we can assist you in consenting a guardianship. Call us at 630-932-9100.

 

Source:

 

https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gac/AboutUs/Pages/GuardFAQ.aspx 

 

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