Children Laws

Florida Guardianship Law

Florida Guardianship Law

Quick Guide to Florida Guardianships
Florida Guardianship Laws
Laws concerning Florida guardianship law can be located under the FL legislature in Chapter 744.  There are over nine parts within chapter 744, and these parts cover general provisions, the appointment of guardians, the powers and duties of a legal guardian, and more.  In order to reach a complete list of all these Florida guardianship law, you can visit the following link
Eligibility for Florida Guardianships
According to the Florida State Bar, any adult who is related or unrelated to the incapacitated person may serve as a guardian in Florida.  If the ward is a minor, the court will usually give preference to another parent, relative such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, and in some cases, siblings.  However, in some cases, the court will grant rights to guardianship to parties who are not related if the situation is serious.  
The court will never grant Florida guardianships to a convicted felon or person who does not show evidence of being able to perform the specified duties of a guardian.  In some cases, the court will grant Florida guardianship to a professional or public guardian; and if a judge appoints a bank or financial institution, the bank can only serve as guardian of the property.  
What does Florida Guardianship Law Entitle?
If the guardian in FL is given rights of guardianship to the property, the person or institution will help the ward keep a complete inventory, invest the property safely, support the ward, and provide annual reports to the court.  Florida guardianships in Florida also require the court to approve financial transactions.  
If the Florida guardianship law is granted for the care of an incapacitated person, the person will have the rights to decisions such as providing medical, mental, and personal care as well as establishing the best place of residence for the ward.  Florida guardianship law involving an incapacitated person also requires an annual report on the ward’s care and a physician’s report to the court.  If the person is only partially incapacitated, the guardian only has rights in which the person cannot exercise.  
Steps for Establishing Florida Guardianship 
The following steps are involved establishing Florida guardianships, and there may be more steps involved depending on the case: 
1. The incapacity of the person must be proved unless the party is a minor.  In order to prove incapacity, the court must usually obtain certificate form a doctor who examined the person.
2. A potential guardian must then file a petition with their local clerk, and if there are several parties trying to obtain guardianship, the issue may be contested in court.  A link to all county clerks in Florida is provided here.
3. If Florida guardianships are granted, the guardian will normally have to file a bond with the court, and the court will decide if the guardianship should be final if the incapacitation is expected to last their entire life.  
For more information on important factors in a Florida guardianship law case, visit the following link under the Florida State Bar: 

Louisiana Guardianship Law

Louisiana Guardianship Law

A brief guide to Louisiana guardianship
When a person is mentally or physically incapable of caring for themselves, the court system may intervene to ensure that they are properly cared for. Many different people can be appointed to Louisiana guardianships. The process of being appointed to this kind of position is complicated and lengthy. Obtaining a Louisiana guardianship is not a process to be undertaken by anyone who is not prepared to execute all of the responsibilities which are involved.
It is important distinguish this position from a custodial position. While Louisiana guardianships appoint someone to look after a person's mental and physical health, a custodian is responsible for maintaining their financial resources. A person may apply for both positions if they feel they are capable of executing both. If you are only appointed to a Louisiana guardianship, you will need to be able to cooperate with any custodian who is responsible for the same person's financial health.
Many different people can be appointed to this position. People who have been named in living wills in the event of an accident or medical complication are given preference when Louisiana guardianships are being considered by the court. However, a spouse, adult child or relative with whom the person has lived with for at least six months prior to the incident in question can also be considered. A Louisiana guardianship can also be considered when a minor child does not have a parent or guardian to look after them. In cases where parents are relinquishing the right to custody of their child, their preferences will be given strong consideration.
To be considered for Louisiana guardianships, you must undertake a court process. Filing a petition will be the first step that must be taken. The person who must have Louisiana guardianship appointed on their behalf will be examined by a physician or other medical professional. A report will be issued detailing the kind of care which they require. Judges will evaluate this document and use it as the basis of any decision when considering petitions for Louisiana guardianships.
In court, the incapacitated person will be represented by an "attorney ad litem." This lawyer will be responsible for making sure any Louisiana guardianship which is awarded is in the best interests of their client. If you are attempting to be appointed to this position, you may wish to consult a lawyer. The process of having Louisiana guardianships can be complicated and can benefit from legal aid.
If you are appointed to this position, you have the right to receive an inventory from the custodian detailing the disabled person or child's financial resources. Anyone appointed to a Louisiana guardianship must submit regular reports detailing the condition and any developments in the condition of the person they are caring for. People who are appointed to look after minor children must be on good terms with them in order to ensure that they provide the best possible care.



What is Emancipation?
Emancipation of minors refers to a set of laws that allows a minor to conduct business on their own behalf or for their own benefit that is regarded as outside the influence of their guardian or parent. An emancipated minor, although under the age of majority, will assume most adult responsibilities. An emancipated minor is therefore deemed, by the state, to be responsible for their own care—the individual is no longer under the care of their parents or guardians. The emancipation of minors enables the minor to have full contractual capacity to conclude contract with regard to their business endeavor. 
In the United States, children are regarded as minors and are thus placed under the control of their parents or legal guardians, until they reach the age of majority. When the individual reaches the age of majority (in most cases 18 years of age) they are regarded as adult beings. 
The precise laws for obtaining emancipation will vary from state to state. In most states in the U.S., the minor is required to file petition with the family court in the underlying jurisdiction. The petition signifies the formal request for formal emancipation; the petition will cite reasons as to why it is in their best interest to become emancipated. 
Emancipations are very difficult to obtain because of the attached subjectivity of the “best interest” clause. In most cases, the state’s department of child services will be contacted and the child will be placed in foster care. In other cases, such as those where the minor is dissatisfied with their parents or guardian’s rules, the attempt to secure emancipation will be denied. 
In addition to the laws surrounding the obtainment of emancipation, specialized provisions will dictate what the minor is legally allowed to do under state law. For example, an emancipated minor—depending on state law– may not get married without parental consent, quit school, drink or purchase alcohol or vote. 
If a minor does achieve emancipation the individual can partake in the following efforts and activities:
The emancipated minor can enter into a legally-binding contract, including real estate purchases or rentals
The emancipated minor can enroll in the school of his or her choice
The emancipated minor can sue or be sued in the court of law
The emancipated minor can apply for work and keep income generated from work
The emancipated minor can make healthcare decisions, including those relating to birth control and abortions
How is Emancipation Obtained?
Emancipation is obtained in the following three ways: marriage, military or obtaining permission from a court. 
In most states, a minor will automatically secure emancipation once they get married. However, in order to get married, the minor must comply with state marriage requirements, which will indefinitely set a minimum age for marriage and require the minor’s parents to be present during the ceremony. 
Minors can become emancipated by enlisting in the United States military, however, since military policy requires enlistees to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, emancipation is rare through enlistment.
A few states will allow a minor to emancipate via a court order. Typically, the minor must be at least 16 years of age to receive emancipation through the court system. A court may grant emancipation if it believe it is doing so to serve the individual’s best interest—this determination is based on the following factors;
Can the minor be financially self-sufficient through employment
Is the minor living apart from his or her parents or has the minor made alternative living arrangements
Is the minor mature enough to make decisions and function as an adult
Is the minor attending school or has he/she received a high school diploma

Juvenile Hall

Juvenile Hall

What is Juvenile Hall?
Also referred to as a youth detention center, a juvenile hall is a secure, government-run facility that aims to re-educate or rehabilitate young people who have had run-ins with the law. Juvenile halls house youths—termed juvenile delinquents—who are awaiting court hearings and/or placement in rehabilitation programs and long-term care facilities. A juvenile hall is only concerned with detaining minors who have had been convicted or are awaiting trial for an illegal action. Juvenile halls exist because the federal government believes that youths should not be jailed or tried in the same manner as adults. As a result, all juveniles will go through a separate court system, referred to as the juvenile court, which will sentence or commit youths to a certain facility or program. 
When a juvenile goes through the juvenile court system, the individual may enter a number of programs or procedures to achieve rehabilitation. Some juveniles, depending on the hearing, may be released directly back into the community or undergo community-run rehabilitative programs, whereas others—who are deemed to pose a greater threat to society or themselves—will be placed in a supervised juvenile hall or detention center. If the state sends a juvenile to a detention center, there are basic types of facilities: a secure confinement or a secure detention center. 
Types of Juvenile Halls:
A secure detention center will hold juveniles for short periods of time; these facilities will hold the juvenile while the individual awaits trial or further placement decisions. These centers will ensure that juvenile will make an appearance in court, while also keeping the youth and the community safe. This type of juvenile hall will hold the youth until he or she continues to trial; the secure detention center does not aim to fully re-educate or rehabilitate the individual. While in this form of juvenile hall, the youth is under the custody of the state. The local jurisdiction is responsible for providing recreation, education, health, assessment and minor counseling services with the intent of maintaining the individual’s well-being. 
These juvenile halls are reserved for youths who are considered to be a significant threat to the court process, public safety and/or themselves.  Within the category of juvenile hall, the broader name for this facility is deemed residential programs. The United States recognizes five types of these programs, including camps, community based centers, residential treatment, detention and corrections. The reason for this variety is that there is not a uniform definition of juvenile halls. Because of this, there is a lack of uniformity across states and a number of names for detention and confinement centers for juveniles. 

Illinois Guardianship Law

Illinois Guardianship Law

Guide to Illinois Guardianship
In the state of Illinois, when a person is incapable of making their own legal decisions, a legal guardian may be appointed for them.  Typically, IL guardianship cases pertain to children, the elderly, and the severely disabled.  This guide will teach you about Illinois guardianship arrangements for different types of people, as well as explaining who qualifies to be a guardian under current law.
Guardianship of Children
Usually, a child's legal guardian is his or her parent.  In these situations, IL guardianship laws do not apply. If a child needs a non-parental guardian to be appointed, the courts will step in.  Illinois guardianship will be given on the basis of the child's best interest.  A child may need IL guardianship for many reasons: for instance, a parent may be unavailable due to death, severe illness or disability, or incarceration.
When a child needs Illinois guardianship for protection, the court will give notice to the family of the child.  This allows the family to pick a suitable person to as the child's legal guardian under IL guardianship laws.  If a parent is able to express a choice of legal guardian for their child, Illinois guardianship law requires courts to take this preference into account.  It is fairly rare for IL guardianship to not be awarded to a parent's preferred guardian—typically, this happens if for some reason the proposed guardian is unable or unwilling to serve.
Guardianship of the Disabled
The other main category of people who qualify for guardians under Illinois guardianship laws are the disabled.  Some disabled people in IL guardianship proceedings have been disabled their whole lives, while others are recently disabled.  Typically, Illinois guardianship is used as a last ditch measure when a family member can no longer care for himself or herself and is in potential danger without a guardian.
Two types of IL guardianship are available to disabled people who need a guardian.  If a person is not capable of making basic decisions about his or her personal care, someone may be appointed as a “guardian of the person,” and will be able to make all decisions about the disabled individual's care.  In other cases—especially with older people suffering from dementia—the person may be able to make some personal care choices but cannot make reasonable decisions about money or property.  In these cases, a “guardian of the estate” may be given financial decisionmaking responsibilities.
Who May Be a Guardian?
Any legal U.S. resident who is 18 or older and is of sound mind can be a legal guardian, provided they have not been convicted of a serious crime.  Not all guardians are individuals.  Both public and private not-for-profit organizations are allowed to petition for guardianship of an individual.  In cases where no suitable guardian can be found for a disabled individual, the Office of the State Guardian will take guardianship responsibilities.  Because guardianship can be expensive and difficult, it is advisable to talk to an attorney before deciding to pursue guardian status.

Maine Guardianship Law

Maine Guardianship Law


What is Guardianship Law?


A guardianship, in the United States, is a legal relationship formed when an, individual or institution named in a will or assigned by a court, takes care of minor children for an incompetent or missing adult. Also referred to as a conservatorship, guardianship law is observed to offer a child in need of parental advisory with a suitable adult. 


To become a guardian a close friend or another family member of the child will petition a local court for guardianship. Guardianship law in the United States declares that the court does not have to honor a request for guardianship when an individual is named in a will as a guardian of a child in case of the death of the parent. That being said, guardians are typically granted when petition adheres to a locality’s guardianship law. The guardianship of a minor—according to guardianship law—remains under court supervision until the child reaches the age of majority (18). 


Guardianship law states that guardians are not allowed to benefit at the expense of those they care for; in many cases guardians are required to offer periodic accountings to the presiding court. Guardianship laws concerning accounting requirements vary between jurisdictions; local court rules must be consulted to uncover your particular requirements. 


Guardianship of a child removes the parents’ right to render decisions concerning their child’s life. That being said, guardianship does not permanently terminating the biological parents’ rights. This simply means that although the guardian maintains custody and is therefore responsible for raising the child, the youth’s biological parents are still regarded as the child’s legal parents. 


The presiding court—according to guardianship law—may order guardians to let the biological parents contact or visit the child. Moreover, the presiding court may place limits or conditions on visitations, including mandatory supervision. The frequency of parental visitation is typically up to the guardian or the court to decide. Guardianship law states that in certain cases the biological parents may regain custody of their child in the future. The transfer of custody back to the biological parents will be affirmed if the court—in adherence to guardianship law—determines the guardianship to be no longer in the child’s best interests. 


Although local laws vary, the majority of courts in the United States require certain parties to be served with notice of guardianship hearings. These notices must be legally served upon the person with an attached sworn statement of the individual making the service later returned to the court. In certain cases, courts may waive said requirements. 


In Maine, the highest court has held that probate courts possess the authority to grant co-guardianships to existing parents and other persons, thus enabling gay and lesbian parents to form legal relationships between their children the children’s parents. 


Maine Guardianship for Adults:


Maine guardianship for adults refers to the care of adults who are in need of decision-making help. The information in this section applies to adults with any sort of diminished capacity, including persons with developmental impediments, individuals with physical problems, frail elders and persons with mental health or addictions. For detailed information on Maine guardianship for adults


The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is the government agency responsible for administering Maine guardianship. 


Maine Guardianship Law for Minors:


If you are worried about the health and safety of your child you must weigh the pros and cons of Maine guardianship. According to Maine guardianship law, the adoptive or biological parents of a child are the natural guardians of their child. As a natural guardian, these parents are responsible for the youth’s care, custody, services, earnings and control until the child reaches the age of 18. 

As stated above, Maine guardianships are legal guardians who assume the day-to-day decision making and control of a child from their natural guardians under formal court order. A ME guardianship, in general, assumes the care and upbringing of the child in question; ME guardianships render all parental decisions for the child. 


In general, a ME guardianship can:


• Request and accept medical treatment on the youth’s behalf


• Enroll the youth in public school in the ME guardian’s community, and


• Provide for the youth’s general welfare.


ME legal guardianship does not include financial responsibility; this responsibility remains with the child’s biological parents. As a practical matter; however, ME guardians often provide financial support—the delivery of financial aid on part of the guardian is dependent on the biological parents’ situation. 


Who Decides to Appoint ME Guardianships?

Probate courts will appoint ME guardianships for minor children where appropriate. Each county in the state of Maine has a Probate Court. 


To secure a ME guardianship in accordance with ME guardianship laws please follow these steps:


1. Secure the Required ME Guardianship Forms and fill them out

a. You will need to secure and complete several forms to secure a ME guardianship in alignment with ME guardianship laws. The individual filing for ME guardianships is referred to as the petitioner; when filing you may propose yourself as the guardian or another person whom you deem qualified. 

b. A required form according to ME guardianship laws is the Child Custody Affidavit. This form tells the court about the child’s living situation for the past five years and labels other parties that may have an interest in your filing for ME guardianship

c. If you claim that the child is living in an intolerable situation, you must file a sworn affidavit describing the facts of his/her situation. This form is known as the Affidavit of Petitioner for Appointment of Guardian of Minor Alleging Intolerable Living Situations

d. Some states—in adherence to ME guardianship laws—require you to file an Acceptance of Guardianship form with your petition for ME guardianship

e. If the child is, has been or will be receiving public assistance you will be required—according to Maine guardianship laws—to file a statement concerning public assistance form. The bulk of ME guardianship courts require everyone to file this form.


2. File the Forms for ME Guardianships:

a. You may file the forms for ME guardianships either by mailing them or hand delivering them to your probate court. Regardless of the delivery service, you must keep a copy for yourself. Make other copies if you will be filing your own notice


3. Notify Other Parties:

a. You, as required by ME guardianship laws, are required to notify the following people that are planning to secure a ME guardianship:

i. The minor child if the youth is 14 years or older and has yet to be consented

ii. The parents of the youth

iii. The individual who has cared for the youth for the 60 days prior to the filing

iv. Any other individual as directed by the Judge of Probate

v. Securing notice means that the parties must secure copies of the court papers; notices can be done via the sheriff’s service or through certified mail via restricted delivery. In either case, the notice will provide you with proof that the parties secure this notice. Parties—according to Maine guardianship laws—may waive the notice requirement. 


4. Probate Court Hearing:

a. The next step is dependent on the party’s ability to agree on the ME guardianship. 

b. If the parties agree, the probate process typically goes more quickly as the court hearing is less formal. With an agreement; however, the Probate Court Judge must still approve the ME guardianship. 

c. If the ME guardianship is contested, the ME court will appoint an ME guardian for the child.

d. At the probate hearing, the court will require a burden of proof; the prospective Maine guardian must convince the Judge the he or she should appoint you as the guardian. In essence, you must prove under Maine guardianship laws that the birth parents or present legal guardians are unable or unwilling to care for the child and that living with you is in the best interest of the youth