Guardianship (G Petition)
Guardianship petitions are filed when you are seeking to become the guardian of a child under the age of 21. To become a legal guardian means that you have been given the authority by the Court to take care of the child and to plan for that child's future. As guardian you will have the right to enroll the child in school, consent to medical treatment and many other rights that are usually attendant with being a parent.
The major difference between a guardian and a parent is that a person can obtain guardianship over a child without terminating the parental rights of the biological parents. In addition, a guardian, unlike a parent does not a have a duty to support the child. For instance, you can become the “permanent guardian” of a foster child which gives you the right to be that child's guardian until they turn 21 but will still allow you to collect foster care stipends.
There are many reasons one may want guardianship over a child. Perhaps the parents are still alive but for some reason (maybe illness) are unable to take care of the child. In a case such as this the child needs someone to take care of them but clearly the parents would not want to lose their parental rights. Sometimes, foster parents who wish to adopt their foster child but simply do not have the economic resources request guardianship over their foster children as it allows the children to remain in their home while receiving foster care stipends.
Other times, a child may have been freed for adoption because their biological parents had their parental rights terminated but the child does not want to consent (a child 14 years or older must consent to be adopted) to be adopted by another person, they wish to remain the legal child of the parent whose rights were terminated. These are just examples, people apply for guardianship for many reasons.
Like all cases involving children in family court the ultimate decision regarding whether or not guardianship will be granted to a specific person is based upon “the best interests of the child.”
The law firm of Simon & Milner in Valley Stream, New York are here if you have questions about child guardianship. Call (516) 561-6622
or (800) 807-5616