Guardianship allows you to legally care for a child and make important decisions on their behalf. Many people seeking to establish this are dealing with the issue for the first time and may not know where to begin. From filing a petition to gathering the necessary paperwork and meeting with the courts, below is a brief overview of how to apply for the guardianship of a minor.
3 Steps to Securing Guardianship for a Minor
1. File a Petition
The first step is to complete a petition stating your intent to become a guardian to the child in question. You then have to file it with the magistrate clerk at your county courthouse. If you have not already done so, now is the ideal time to collect all the other documents the family law courts will eventually request from you—as listed below. When you file your petition, confirm with the clerk that you have all the right information and correct documentation to move forward.
2. Gather the Required Paperwork
In the state of Nebraska, you will need four documents to submit to the courts when seeking a guardianship. Your lawyer or magistrate clerk can advise you on how to access and correctly complete these forms:
- An Abuse & Neglect Registry check and clearance, which ensures you do not have previous charges of abuse or neglect against you.
- An affidavit of Sex Offender Registry Search, which confirms you are not a registered sex offender.
- A credit report, which shows the courts your financial history and responsibilities.
- A criminal background check, as well as a RAP sheet from the Nebraska State Patrol, which details any criminal history you might have.
3. Meet With the Courts
Court officials will schedule meetings with you and, if necessary, the child. They might also want to interview the minor's parents. As part of your interview, a court official may want to perform a home visit or inspection. Finally, you will be asked to wait while the courts weigh the information they've been given before passing down their decision.
If you encounter any issues at any point before, during, or after the guardianship process, or need help from an experienced legal professional, turn to the trusted team at The Law Offices of Bromm, Lindahl, Freeman-Caddy & Lausterer. Based in Wahoo, NE, they have been successfully serving clients throughout the state since its founding in 1893. Call (402) 443-3225 to schedule a consultation today, or visit their website to learn more about the practice areas they specialize in.