MARYLAND CHILD GUARDIANSHIP ATTORNEY
CHILD GUARDIANSHIPS IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Child guardianship is a serious issue. It is a lot of responsibility to become the guardian of another person. You are given the responsibility of making the most important decisions on their behalf, and obligated to ensure their safety and wellbeing. The process to become the guardian of a minor in the state of Maryland is appropriately complex and should be handled by an experienced Maryland child guardianship attorney.
Steps to Become a Guardian
Petition the Court – In order to become a guardian of a minor, the individual must first petition the court and can be handled by a Maryland child guardianship attorney. This involves notifying all interested parties involved with the child of an individual’s interest in becoming his or her guardian. If there are no objections, the court may proceed.
Hearing – This is when the individual seeking to become a guardian must describe their reasoning to a judge. This does not always occur and depends on the purpose of the petition and the individual that is petitioning. Then, the guardian is either appointed or denied.
Reporting – The guardian must give reports throughout the guardianship updating the court on how the guardianship is proceeding.
How the Courts Determine Guardianship
The court’s first priority is creating a situation that is best for the child. Because the child is not able to speak for him or herself like an adult is, the Court has a responsibility to use their judgement for that child. The process of determining a guardian may involve:
- Speaking directly with the interested party
- Hearing from expert witnesses who testify as to who would be the ideal guardian
- Consulting a last will and testament or the wishes of the parents
- Depending on the age of the child, he or she may be asked their opinion
- Hearing from individuals opposed to the granting of guardianship to the person seeking it
If you are seeking guardianship, consider consulting with a highly trained Maryland child guardianship attorney.
The state of Maryland permits co-guardians, which involves appointing two individuals as guardians instead of just one. The Court is always trying to make the best decision for the minor in question, whether that means one or two guardians. If the parent or parents name a couple as co-guardians, that is typically granted without issue. For example, parents will often name their own parents or a sibling and their spouse as guardians in the case of their death.
Court proceedings depend on the circumstances of the petition and the relationship of the petitioning individual to the child.
- If the appointment is uncontested the judge often requests that the potential guardian speaks. This may be a somewhat casual conversation between the judge and individual seeking guardianship.
- If the appointment is contested, the process is a bit more complicated and may take longer. It may require witnesses or experts to give testimony on the character of the potential guardian and to help determine what would be the best decision for the child. A Maryland child guardianship attorney can help you in this situation.
Court supervision is intended to ensure the guardian granted with responsibility over the child is completing his or her duties and acting, again, in the best interest of the child. The court reviews the wellbeing of the child to ensure everything is going well and that nothing needs to change with the custodial situation.
The Responsibility of Being a Guardian
The responsibilities of guarding a minor are significant. The guardian must make important decisions regarding the health and living situation of the child. Their care includes housing, nutrition, clothing, healthcare, among other basic needs. They are in charge of the minor’s education and other conditions that can directly affect a child’s future.
If there is property involved in the guardianship of a child, there are responsibilities regarding the management of this property on the minor’s behalf. The guardian must responsibly manage the assets. The court requires reports on the state of the assets throughout the period of guardianship. After the guardianship is granted, an inventory of all assets belonging to the dependent must be generated shortly after the granting of guardianship. Throughout the period of responsibility over the minor’s assets, the guardian gives reports relating to the status of each asset. Every dollar spent on behalf of the child must be recorded. Court reports can be quite involved, including:
- Bank statements
- Any other documents relating to the health of the assets
Termination of the Guardianship
Under most circumstances, the period of guardianship ends when the child turns eighteen. So long as the court agrees, the child will no longer be required to have a guardian.The guardian may petition to the court to terminate the guardianship, as the dependent is officially no longer a minor and does not require supervision in decisions relating to his or her health, education, and finances. Ending the guardianship before the child turns eighteen requires the guardian to generate a final report of the health of the assets.
For temporary guardianship scenarios, such as when the parents are incapacitated for a limited period of time, the guardian is relieved of his or her obligations as soon as the parent or parents are capable of caring for their child again. Because every situation is unique, it’s important to get the legal help from a Maryland child guardianship attorney.
Call a Maryland Child Guardianship Attorney Today!
With extensive experience handling a wide range of legal matters that affect individuals and their families, you can trust The Burton Law Firm with your specific circumstance. We’re dedicated to ensuring you get the best outcome for your family. Give us a call to speak to a Maryland child guardianship attorney today.
CONTACT MARYLAND GUARDIANSHIP LAWYER FOR HELP
The Burton Law Firm understands how divorce can affect you and your family’s life indefinitely. Having years of experience handling all types of family law cases throughout the state of Maryland, you can trust us to handle your case with care. Give us a call at (301) 420-5540 to speak with a family law lawyer in Maryland.
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