Sometimes, parents find themselves in situations where they're unable to care for their child's needs. In such circumstances, a legal guardian is appointed to step in to raise the child for the time being. Whether it's for short- or long-term arrangments, here's a closer look at guardianship.
What You Need to Know About Child Guardianship
How does it differ from adoption?
Both situations involve caring for a child. Commonly, the arrangements are identical from the outside. However, guardianship is a temporary situation. Even if it's set to last until the child turns 18, the terms and person appointed to the position can change at any time.
What types are available?
In North Carolina, there are three guardian styles available: guardian of the estate, guardian of the person, and general guardian. A guardian of the estate isn't common with children unless they've been gifted a large sum of money. In such cases, a person—usually a parent—files to become in charge of the money until the child reaches adulthood.
A guardian of the person, on the other hand, relates to caring for the child in question. If they do, in fact, have some sort of property or financial inheritance, then a general guardianship can be requested. This type covers both the caregiving aspect and the management of their finances.
How long does it last?
Courts don't set an end timeframe. In such situations, the legal order stays in place until the child turns 18, you resign from the position, or the judge rules the relationship is no longer necessary. There are also some situations in which there's a set period in place in which the end of the arrangement is signified in the ruling.
Who can become a guardian?
In most cases, guardians are already connected with the child in one way or another. This is typically next of kin, such as a grandparent, but non-relatives can also apply for legal guardianship. A family friend is an example. After your lawyer submits your request, the court works with local agencies such as Child Protective Services to fully evaluate the situation before making a decision.
If you're ready to become the legal guardian of a loved one, turn to The Law Offices of J. Baron Groshon for assistance across the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Boasting nearly 30 years of courtroom experience, attorney Groshon provides unparalleled legal service to clients in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, and Lake Norman. Visit the firm's website to learn more about guardianships, and request a thorough evaluation of your case today at (704) 342-2876.