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Become a Legal Guardian

Your Easy Guide to the Application Petition Process

Your Easy Guide to the Application Petition Process

The process of petitioning for legal guardianship of a child and filling out legal guardianship forms can be stressful and confusing. You may want to speak with an attorney in order to discuss the legal aspects of the situation, as well as the regulations surrounding the process before you fill out a legal guardianship form. You should be familiar with all of the aspects of the legal process so that you are prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
You should not complete a legal guardianship form unless you are positive and confident that you are ready for the responsibility that acquiring legal guardianship of a child will entail. If you are certain that you are prepared to petition for custody of a child, then you must file a petition with the local court in order to begin the legal process. 
A minor who has reached the age of fourteen is permitted to complete a petition seeking new legal guardianship and is allowed to fill out legal guardianship forms. An adult who is aware that a child is abused, neglected, or in need of new legal guardianship for any other reason may choose to complete a legal guardianship form if they wish to become the child’s legal guardian.
An individual seeking to file a petition for guardianship can obtain a legal guardianship form from the probate division of the local State court. Legal guardianship forms may also be available at a local family law firm, and many may be obtained online.
The legal guardianship form will ask the petitioner a series of questions related to the child over whom they are seeking custody, as well as why they are seeking custody of the child. The form will ask for information about the petitioner, as well as information about the child, including their address and birth date.
Legal guardianship forms will ask the petitioner to specify the relationship between themselves and the child in question. It will also require the petitioner to explain why they are seeking custody of the child. Legal guardianship forms also require the petitioner to list the assets of the ward over whom they are seeking to gain custody. The petitioner will have to obtain the signature of both the mother and the father of the child, as well as the signature of the child if the child is fourteen years or older.
Once the forms have been completed by the petitioner, they are returned to the probate court or county clerks’ office along with the filing fee. After reviewing the petition forms, a hearing date will be set and the parents of the child will be notified. This is only the beginning of the legal process that must be followed in order to gain guardianship of a ward.
Before the hearing takes place the petitioner should collect adequate evidence to support their claims that it would be in the child’s best interest to be in their care. They must also prepare for a home investigation, which will take place in order to ensure that the proposed guardian can provide the child with adequate care, as well as offer the child a safe and comfortable environment. 

Understand The Court Fees and Cost Before Becoming A Legal Gaurdian

Understand The Court Fees and Cost Before Becoming A Legal Gaurdian

Undertaking the responsibility of establishing a legal guardianship for a child may present a great financial burden. There are court fees that need to be paid, as well as attorney fees and the continuous fees that accompany caring for another individual.
To begin with, if someone wishes to petition for legal guardianship of another individual, they must file an application with the County Clerk’s Office or the probate section of the State court. The cost of filing these petitions vary from State to State. They can range anywhere from $200-$500, with most states charging around $250. If a legal guardianship is established then the petitioner has the right to be reimbursed from the ward’s estate for all of the legal expenses that they accrued. If the ward does not have an estate and the petitioner is unable to afford the cost of filing for legal guardianship, then the petitioner may be able to file the forms for free.
The petitioner will need to file a form called “Application to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person”, in which the petitioner will be required to list their income, as well as their assets. The judge will assess the petitioner’s financial situation and determine whether or not the petitioner has a limited income. If the judge finds that the petitioner does have a limited income, then the petitioner will be permitted to file the documents for legal guardianship of a child or a disabled adult free of charge.
There may also be fees if someone wishes to file a petition of opposition to the establishment of a legal guardianship or a conservatorship. The cost of filing a petition of opposition will vary by State, but is usually around $200.
It is not always necessary for a petitioner to hire an attorney when they are filing for legal guardianship of a child or an incapacitated adult. This is especially true if there is no contention regarding the establishment of a legal guardianship or if the child’s parents have agreed to the authorization of the petitioner as the child’s legal guardian. However, the petitioner may choose to seek the guidance of a lawyer when seeking legal guardianship of a child in order to understand all of the legal aspects of the situation, as well as the laws and regulation surrounding the process.
The petitioner may also seek legal counsel if there is opposition to the petition to establish new legal guardianship of a child. An individual who is considering a court filing for legal guardianship of another person should take into account all of the fees that they will accrue if they need or want to hire an attorney.
A petitioner must also take into consideration all of the continuing fees that they will accumulate if they establish legal guardianship of a child or an incapacitated adult. If the petitioner becomes the child’s legal guardian, then they will be responsible for providing for this child. They will need to provide them with a comfortable place to live, as well as food, clothing and other necessities. If the child is ill, then the guardian may need to pay for medical coverage. In many instances, the guardian can request child support payments from the child’s parents or file for Government assistance. However, there is still a great deal of financial responsibility that is undertaken by an individual who petitions for a legal guardianship.

Dealing With Home Investigation

Dealing With Home Investigation

One of the most stressful
situations that a potential guardian
 must endure is when their home
is investigated. The court
 will have the home of potential
legal guardians inspected in order to ensure that the home is a safe
environment for the child to occupy.

The investigations assess
guardians’ ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and other
basic necessities. It will allow the court to gain insight into the home of the
potential guardian, and the investigators will note any characteristics of the
environment that would not be suitable for a child. The investigator will be
keeping an eye out for any aspect of the environment that may be detrimental to
the child or the child’s health. They will be on the lookout for any form of
hazardous or illegal substances that are being kept in the house.

The home investigation will
also evaluate the relationship between potential guardians and their current
family. The investigators will observe whether or not potential guardians are
close with their family and whether or not the family appears to be loving and
supportive. They will seek to uncover whether or not this guardian would be
able to provide a stable environment for the child.

The investigator will be a trained professional who has experience
dealing with people and understanding what type of environment is suitable for
a child. Once the investigation is complete, a report will be created and given
to the judge. The judge will take this report into consideration when
determining whether the proposed guardian would be an adequate guardian for the
child.

The judge will be required to
decide whether residing with the potential guardian and being raised by him/her
would be in the child’s best interest
. The home investigation can greatly sway the decision of the
judge and an unsatisfactory home investigation may ruin potential guardian’s
chance at receiving custody of a child
.

If you have filed for legal guardianship of a
minor and must undergo a home investigation, there are some things that you
should keep in mind. First, never lie to an investigator; always be honest. If
they uncover that you have lied, it will be extremely destructive to your case.
Remain calm. Although this may be a very stressful process, the investigator is
just trying to become acquainted with you, your family and your home in order
to determine if this would be an appropriate environment for a child to live in.
It is the home investigator’s responsibility to help ensure that the child is
being placed in a safe environment.