Guardianship over Children

In order to obtain legal guardianship over a child, the Petitioner needs to establish that both parents are unable, unavailable or unfit to care for a child. The Petitioner does not need to be biologically related to the child, but they must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the basic needs of the child.

In general obtaining Guardianship over a child takes approximately 90 days, however in certain circumstances it is possible to obtain an emergency guardianship in one day.

Guardianship of an Adult or Incapacitated Person

The need for guardianships with adults arises when an individual is incapable of caring for themselves. These cases often arise when an incapacitated child “ages out” or when a formerly non-incapacitated loved one can no longer care for themselves due to such things as Dementia, Physical or Mental incapacitation or Mental illness.

Generally, a medical certificate from a doctor or nurse practitioner specifying what that person’s condition is and why they need a guardian is required. Furthermore, in certain circumstances the Guardian may be granted the power to admit loved ones to a nursing home, mental health facility, or administer antipsychotic medication.