Child, Disabled, and Elderly Guardian Cases
When parents are unable to provide proper daily child care, whether due to drug addiction, criminal activity, incarceration, illness, or other reasons, a non-parent can seek legal guardianship to assume all parental responsibilities. Due to an increase in child guardianship disputes, which caused multiple changes to the Illinois Probate Act that governs guardianships, the process is more complicated than it used to be. More than ever, skilled legal representation is imperative in a guardianship filing.
Laraia & Whitty, P.C. can help with your guardianship case, including completing the required paperwork and petition filings as quickly as possible. With nearly 90 years of combined experience, our attorneys can provide careful guidance throughout the guardianship application process and help establish why you are the best possible option for a child’s safety and happiness.
What Is Legal Guardianship?
Guardianship gives legal custody and parental duties to someone who is not the child’s parent. Guardians are responsible for the child’s education, housing, clothing, food, and medical care.
You can apply to be the guardian of a minor if you are:
- A U.S. citizen at least 18 years old
- Of sound mind and not legally disabled
- Not previously convicted of a felony
- Able to provide active and suitable care
The first step to becoming a legal guardian is to file multiple forms with the court, including the Petition for Guardianship of a Minor, and other documents that declare your intentions to the child’s family. A Laraia & Whitty, P.C. attorney can handle all necessary forms to guarantee accuracy and adherence to official procedure. Once complete, you will either choose or receive a court hearing date.
What to Expect at Your Guardianship Hearing
A Laraia & Whitty, P.C. lawyer can prepare you for the types of questions a judge will likely ask to gauge your abilities as a potential guardian. If your guardianship is uncontested, the judge will make a determination based on your testimony, the child’s statement (if they are at least 14 years old), and all information presented.
If the child’s parents or family members contest your guardianship, they will have the opportunity to state their objection at the initial hearing. While the judge could make an immediate ruling, they may decide the case requires a trial date for other witnesses and further documentation.
Laraia & Whitty, P.C. will be prepared with the necessary evidence and character witnesses to prove your competency as a guardian, and to refute claims made against you. Our mission is to illustrate your unwavering commitment to the best interests of the child.
Other Types of Guardianships
Many parents include a guardianship provision as part of their will, to name the individual(s) they want to assume parental responsibilities or care of their children or a disabled adult in the event of their death. Also, a parent who faces a terminal illness can set up a guardianship for any dependents to take effect either when they reach the point of incapacitation or after they are deceased.
Laraia & Whitty, P.C. can assist with the guardianship selection process, legal paperwork, filing, and continued legal support in the years ahead. Our attorneys will work to ensure your wishes are protected and ironclad.
Contact a Wheaton Guardianship Law Firm
The importance of securing experienced legal representation to establish guardianship for a child in need cannot be overstated. Contact our family law attorneys at 630-228-9984 for a free consultation. From our Wheaton office, we serve clients throughout Chicago Land.