Are you worried about the well-being of a child you love? Under Florida law, biological or adoptive parents are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of their children until age 18. When parents are not capable of providing for their child’s basic needs, the courts have the authority to appoint a legal guardian.This situation can occur when the parents are abusing drugs or alcohol or are serving time in prison.
Schlegel Law Group can help you petition the courts for legal guardianship of a minor in your extended family if you believe he or she is not being properly cared for and might even be in danger.
Guardianship will allow you to step in and act in the full capacity of parents to protect the child’s interests. It can grant you the temporary or permanent rights that parents have.
Some of these rights include:
- Physical custody for living arrangements
- Legal custody for financial decisions
- Healthcare and medical treatment decisions
- Education, upbringing and lifestyle-related decisions
The Process to Become a Legal Guardian
While many people meet the basic qualifications to serve as a child’s guardian in Florida, often additional factors are taken into consideration by the courts such as your level of education, relevant experience, relationship with the child and your ability to provide for him or her.
If you have concerns about the welfare of a child in your extended family, contact Schlegel Law Group at our Orlando office to discuss your options. We’ll give you an honest assessment of your situation and explain what the courts will need to see to make a guardianship determination. If you decide to proceed, we’ll fight aggressively on behalf of the child’s welfare.
Other Guardianship Situations
Guardianship isn’t limited to minors. It is also a legal process designed to protect and execute the rights of a person who is incapacitated and can’t make his or her own decisions. That person, known as a ward, might be someone who has developmental disabilities or an elderly person with dementia.
A guardian’s responsibility would be to protect the ward’s rights, preserve his or her dignity, and improve his or her quality of life.