Some situations might arise in which a minor child is in need of a legal guardian. Perhaps the child’s parents are not capable of doing it themselves, so a grandparent, other relative, friend, foster parent or other concerned party wants to apply for temporary guardianship. Guardians are the ones who are allowed to make legal and medical decisions on the behalves of minor children until they are old enough to do so on their own. Additionally, people might seek temporary guardianship of children if they believe that the children’s well-being is being put at risk, such as if they are being abused or neglected.
In order to file for temporary guardianship of a child, people must fill out the appropriate petition forms. Such forms can usually be located online at people’s local counties’ websites, or they can simply obtain them by visiting their counties’ courthouses and speaking with the clerk of the courts. Clerks might charge people a fee to print the forms for them, however.
People should also gather as much information as possible attesting to why they should be granted temporary guardianship of the minor. For instance, if the parents of the minor have psychiatric reports and medical records that prove that they are incapable of properly caring for the child, then those should be included in their petitions. People whose parents agree to the petitioners having temporary guardianship of their children because they are going to be deployed overseas in the military or other such situations should provide letters expressing their desires to the courts. Likewise, people who were asked to be temporary guardians of children in the event of their parents’ deaths should obtain the death certificates and wills attesting to such statements.
When filing their petitions, people should ensure that they pay the appropriate filing fee and that they sign the forms before a notary. Most states require that petitions to the court be notarized. Afterwards, if any parties must be served, such as the minor’s parents, the petitioner should ensure that the action is done. Although the petitioner does not have to personally serve the papers, it is the petitioner’s responsibility to make sure that any concerned parties are notified of the petition.
Once a petition has been made, the court will set a date to hear it. The court might agree to award temporary guardianship of a minor to the petitioner if it is deemed that would be in the best interest of the child.