Experienced Family Law and Guardianship Attorneys.
Some children are so severely disabled that they cannot fend for themselves or make decisions on their own behalf. That could be because of a physical disability (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or etc.) and/or a mental disability. The child may have been born with the condition or obtained it through an accident or illness. While the child is a minor, there is no need for his parents to obtain a guardianship over him. His parents have full legal authority and decision-making control over him in the same manner that all parents have full legal authority and decision making control over their minor children. However, once the child turns 18 and thereby becomes an adult, his parents’ legal authority over him ceases, unless they obtain a guardianship over him. Without the guardianship, doctors’ offices, caregivers, banking institutions, and stores would be required to deal directly with the new adult. Because that is not possible in the case of the severely disabled (now) adult, their parents will need to obtain a guardianship over them, so that the parents can continue to look out for them, make decisions on their behalf, and communicate those decisions to others.
Sometimes the parents of the adult child are unable or unwilling to perform such guardianship duties. If so, another person (perhaps another family member) can step forward to seek to become the guardian. Or, the court can appoint some other qualified guardian. The guardian could even be a professional guardian – i.e., someone who is certified by the State to perform guardianship services for others. Whomever the guardian will be, the proposed guardian has to undertake some court-ordered guardianship training in order to be appointed as the actual guardian. Generally, once a guardianship over a person is approved by the court, the court retains jurisdiction over the guardianship case – and the guardian has some ongoing duties to report and account to the court with respect to how the guardianship is going over time. Guardianships are a specialty of good family law attorneys, and we are no different. We also set up Guardianships for the protection of the elderly and vulnerable adults – so good family law attorneys will have vast experience in establishing guardianships.