A guardian may be appointed when someone other than the parent wants to be appointed by the court to take over parental responsibilities, such as decisions regarding housing, medical care, and education.
- Any person interested in the welfare of a minor may petition the court for appointment of a Title 14 guardian.
- Title 14 Guardianships are not part of a dependency action, however, if a parent contests to the guardianship it may lead to a dependency petition being filed.
- Relatives of the minor usually file petitions for guardianships. If the petitioner is not related to the minor by blood, the petitioner must be fingerprinted.
- A permanent guardianship may be granted through Title 8 when a child has been in DCS custody under a dependency and certain conditions have been met, including:
- The child has been in the custody of the prospective permanent guardian for at least nine months.
- DCS has made reasonable efforts to reunite the parent and child and further efforts would be unproductive.
- The likelihood that the child would be adopted is remote or termination of parental rights would not be in the child’s best interests.
If you are considering guardianship it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney. Contact Owens & Perkins for a free 30-minute guardianship consultation at (480) 994-8824.