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.