Quick Guide to Georgia Guardianships
Georgia Guardianship Law
The majority of Georgia guardianship laws are provided under Title 29 Guardian and Ward of the GA Revised Code. Section 29-2-1 provides that a Georgia guardianship can be defined as:
1. a natural guardian
2. a testamentary guardian (one without “custody” but with decisions on upbringing)
3. a temporary guardian
4. a standby guardian (when legal parent is incapacitated and gives rights to another person)
5. permanent guardian
Georgia guardianships are granted by the local probate courts, and a permanent guardianship may be offered when the minor has no living parents or the legal rights of the parents have been removed by the court. A temporary Georgia guardianship is granted when the legal guardian of the child needs a guardian for a particular reason. When the child is a minor, the temporary guardian has the same rights of a natural guardian, and these rights include medical treatment and decisions in school.
How to Qualify for Georgia Guardianship Rights
Georgia guardianships require initial qualifying factors and specific steps. The state will normally give preference to relatives and caseworkers of the court before another guardian, but the state will never give preference to a person with a criminal background or a person with weak financial history.
The steps listed below are general steps, and you should always consult with your local probate court and hire a family law attorney if you’re trying to qualify for Georgia guardianships:
Step 1 File the Appropriate Forms
You need to submit a petition with the court before you take any other steps. These petitions usually have you list why you should have Georgia guardianship rights, why your supervision is best for the child, financial information, and more.
Pay the Fees and Undergo an Investigation
You will have to pay various filing fees and attorneys’ fees in most cases. After you have submitted all of the necessary fees, the probate will conduct a criminal background check on the potential guardian. These investigations are usually performed by caseworkers, social work professional, and personal care facility administrators and you will be asked a large amount of information.
These investigations will examine your placement plan, your financial history, your ability to work with the ward, and whether this place is preferable to other Georgia guardianships.
Undergo the Necessary Training
While or after the court is determining eligibility, probate courts in the state of GA will make all guardians view a training video and read a handbook prepared by the judges and administrations.
If the court has determined the Georgia guardianship is in the best interests of the ward, a judge will assign specific responsibilities to the guardian. If a minor turns 18, marries, or graduates from high school, the courts will usually terminate Georgia guardianships unless the guardianship is permanent.