When a child is in need of care, treatment, or services, sometimes the parents are unable or unwilling to provide them with basic necessities. Often times, good Samaritans such as other relatives will step in to provide assistance. Unfortunately, without legal guardianship, they cannot dictate how to raise or care for the child. In certain limited circumstances, the court may award a non-parent with a third-party custody or guardianship, effectively giving the individual the right to oversee the child’s upbringing.
Indiana law also allows the courts to establish terms of guardianship for incapacitated adults. These can come suddenly, such as if a person had an accident and sustained severe injuries. Older people who are experiencing Alzheimer’s may also require a guardian. All of their property would fall under the care of the guardian.
While the state respects parental rights, the law is meant to give the courts the flexibility to enact what is best for the current and future care of the protected person.
To know if you are eligible to petition for guardianship of a child or an adult, you need the help of an experienced Indianapolis guardianship attorney to guide you through understanding the law.
Indiana law strongly supports the belief that a child must live with their parents if possible. However, there’s a legal process allowing the transfer of a child’s guardianship to another person if this is for the better. If you mean to seek guardianship of a child in Indiana, you have to prove that his biological parents are not capable of providing acceptable care. Aside from grandparents and other close relatives, an individual who is not a close relation may also be appointed as guardian.
An Indiana guardianship lawyer can join you at court hearings, where it will be decided if you are to be granted guardianship of the child in question. Some of the things that the court considers when making a decision include:
If approved as a guardian, you should assume parental responsibilities and oversee a child’s personal needs like housing, food, clothing, education, and health care.
Do you have a close adult family member that needs special care? This could be your parent or adult child. Indiana law allows the court to grant adult guardianship if the ward is not capable of making proper decisions about their health and property. However, what if the person does not want a guardian? This makes the situation more challenging. A knowledgeable and experienced guardianship attorney can help prepare your petition and represent you before the court.
The proceedings in Indiana generally look to an already established power of attorney when seeking to name a guardian for an adult. Power of attorney can offer you the same legal options as guardianship. The main difference is that this is given to you voluntarily, while legal guardianship is issued by the court. That being said, the latter is not easy for the protected person to dissolve.
If no one currently has a durable power of attorney, the courts will consider the person’s spouse or children. If no close kin are willing and capable to serve as guardian, an independent person like a friend or work associate may be appointed to look after the person’s health concerns and properties.
Once approved for guardianship, Indiana law requires you to regularly report to the court about the person’s finances and properties. You have 90 days to file a statement detailing all their assets. Furthermore, you should submit financial reports every 2 years, detailing changes on their finances. These reports are not needed for power of attorney appointments.
Seeking to be granted guardianship of a child or an adult can be stressful and time consuming. It’s important to have the legal counsel of an experienced guardianship lawyer like Maxine E. King to help sort through these complex matters. She has won a variety of guardianship actions and can advise you of your rights and options.
Call her office now so you’ll better understand the intricacies of the process. Maxine E. King can help you gather evidence to support your request and advocate for your best interests in court!
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