When the natural parents of a child are unable for any reason to not continue providing direct care for the child, other concerned persons with an already established relationship to the child (which could be for example a relative, god-parent, teacher, or even simply a close friend of the family) may apply to the court for legal guardianship of the child.
Naturally the authorities want to be certain that it is in the best interest of the child for the guardianship to be awarded, and a lot of factors are taken into account besides merely the wishes of the child and the applicant for legal guardianship.
Oceanside child custody lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel are very experienced in helping people to resolve legal guardianship applications favorably. Their suggestion is that anyone considering making an application for legal guardianship should do the very best they can to prepare for any inquiry into their fitness to assume the role of a legal guardian for the child. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of success will be. A good lawyer can help you prepare the best and most persuasive case to help you win.
Just some of the many factors that would be examined include:
- The reasons why the natural parents of the child are no longer able to continue raising the child
- Whether the applicant is a family relative of the child
- How long the applicant has known the child, and the closeness of the relationship
- Whether the applicant fully understands the legal obligations they will be subject to
- Whether there are any formal objections to the guardianship application from any party
- Whether the applicant would be considered a suitable role model for the child
- The financial position of the applicant
- Whether the applicant has any associations that may be considered detrimental
- Whether the applicant has any prior experience in raising children
Even when you think there wouldn’t be any obstacles in your way, you’d be surprised how often certain overlooked information can cause disruptions in the process, and sometimes even result in the rejection of the application. Legal assistance is strongly recommended.
Once you have chosen a lawyer to help you, the best policy is full disclosure to the lawyer of anything you believe may have a bearing on the case. For example, if you have any prior convictions or if you are currently the defendant in a civil lawsuit, these conditions could be expected to possibly come into play.
You don’t need to worry, because anything you tell your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege, but it’s best for the lawyer to be completely aware of any factors that could introduce a difficulty into the process. One thing that’s certain is that lawyers don’t like surprises unless they, themselves, are orchestrating them.
Obtaining legal guardianship isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be, and the number one reason why applicants can come away from court disappointed is that they weren’t adequately prepared.