Whether you have found yourself in this situation or know someone that needs legal advice regarding guardianship, there are numerous points to consider. There are two main types of guardianships minor and adult, while different circumstances may lead to the decision to petition, there are many similarities in a legal manner.
Here are a few key points you will want to know before you start the process.
How to Petition for Guardianship
When you have made the decision to petition for guardianship the first step that needs to be made in obtaining and filling out the appropriate forms from the probate court in your county. In the state of Georgia, the Petition for Temporary Letters of Guardianship of Minor form is quite detailed and requires numerous signatures and detailed information. We at Phillip & Sellers advise you to schedule a consultation appointment regarding your questions about the initial petition and if you need council filling out the other forms necessary to file for guardianship of a minor. Secondly, you will need to file all the forms completed to the probate court in your county. After that process has been completed, you must notify these people that you are petitioning for guardianship:
- The minor child if he or she is 14 years or older and has not yet consented
- The parents of the minor child
- The person who has cared for the child for the 60 days prior to filing
- Any other person as directed by the judge of the probate court
Getting “notice” means that these parties must get copies of the court papers. Once all parties have been notified, the court date will be set to approve or deny your petition of guardianship. This period of waiting can be stressful and having legal guidance through the process can give you peace of mind and be helpful.
Adult & Minor Guardianships
An adult guardianship may include an individual that is either mentally incapable of taking care of themselves or physically unable to do so. According to the Council of Probate Judges of Georgia, the guardianship is usually handled in probate court where guardians provide financial management and must file physical and mental status updates of the ward yearly.
The guardianship of a minor can be slightly more involved as biological parents may not have physical custody of the minor but the parents still maintain legal rights to the minor. While guardianship is not the same as custody, permanent guardianship can be granted if the minor no longer has living parents, parents have mistreated minor, or parents have no objection to the permanent placement. Temporary and permanent guardianships are granted by the probate courts while filing for custody must take place in superior or juvenile courts in Georgia.
Phillips & Sellers Attorneys at Law
Petitioning for guardianship of an adult or minor can be stressful with high emotions. With over 22 years of experience serving Columbus, Ga and the surrounding area, the attorneys at Phillips & Sellers will guide you through this judicial process and other family law matters.
Contact us if you have more questions and to schedule your initial consultation.