A legal guardian is an adult who has certain rights and responsibilities regarding the care of a child. The legal guardian may or may not be related to the child biologically, but they are ultimately responsible for his or her well-being. Below, the family law team at Susan Cuddy-Moore Law Office in Carlsbad, NM, answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the typical guardianship arrangement.
Legal Guardianship FAQs
What Does a Legal Guardian Provide?
A legal guardian is responsible for providing everything a child needs in order to thrive. This includes food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, and financial assistance.
How Is Guardianship Different From Adoption?
Unlike adoption, a guardianship arrangement does not alter the legal relationship between the child and his or her parents. Instead, it merely co-exists with the parents’ own rights and responsibilities regarding the care of their child. When you adopt a child, on the other hand, the biological parents lose all parental rights and obligations to him or her.
If I Am Caring for a Child, Should I Become His or Her Legal Guardian?
If a child who is not biologically yours is living in your home and you foresee it being a long-term arrangement, you should consider establishing legal guardianship. This will ensure you can enroll the child in school and make medical decisions on his or her behalf if necessary.
Do I Need to Set Up a Guardianship Arrangement Over My Own Child?
In general, parents are already the physical and legal guardians of their children. However, there are some scenarios in which you may need to take additional steps to establish a formal guardianship arrangement. For example, if a family member leaves your child assets in a will, you may need to become the child’s guardian in the eyes of the court before you can accept and manage the property on his or her behalf.
If you have additional questions regarding the legal arrangement between children and caretakers, turn to Susan Cuddy-Moore Law Office in Carlsbad, NM. Check out the firm online to learn more about the family law services they provide regarding guardianship, child custody, and adoption. Call (575) 234-1277 to schedule an initial consultation with a seasoned family law attorney today.