Northbrook, IL Guardianship Attorneys

Attorney Serving Clients Throughout the Illinois North Shore

Guardianship is not quite the same as adoption. A minor child's guardian does not have a legal parent-child relationship with the child in question. A guardian does have the legal right to have the child in their custody and generally, to make some or all legal decisions on behalf of the child. Guardianship can be permanent or temporary. There are several different types of guardianship to account for the different types of situations in which a guardian may be needed.

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is experienced in helping with both temporary and permanent guardianship. Most of these cases arise when, for whatever reason, the child's parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child. Often, a guardian is an adult who is closely related to the child, such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent. However, a guardian may be any adult the court deems suitable to care for the child. If you are interested in becoming the guardian of a minor child, our attorneys can discuss all your options as well as what guardianship entails with you.

Cook County Lawyers for Short-Term Guardianship

When a child's parents are only temporarily away and intend to return for their child, a short-term guardianship can be used. For example, if a single military parent is going to be deployed overseas, they will likely need to have a guardian appointed. The guardian can take care of the child and make any decisions the parent is unavailable to make.

Normally, short-term guardianships last for up to one year. However, they can be extended if the circumstances call for it. For example, if both of a child's parents are going to prison, they may need to extend their child's guardianship if neither is released within a year.

The child's legal parents may choose the guardian with little or no court intervention. The parents can also revoke the guardianship at will.

Plenary Guardianship Lawyers in the Chicago Area

Plenary guardianships are intended to be permanent. They typically last until the child turns 18 years old. These are generally used when the parents are entirely out of the picture, such as when they have serious substance abuse issues and are frequently missing. Parents may also use a last will and testament to nominate a person who they would like to serve as their child's guardian should they pass away before the child reaches adulthood.

A court must approve the proposed guardian. A Guardian ad Litem might need to become involved, just as they would in a divorce where child custody is contested. When the court grants a permanent guardianship, only the court can revoke the guardianship. Should the parents resurface, rehabilitated and ready to raise their child, they would need to go to court and ask for custody.

Who Can Become a Guardian?

The basic requirements to become a guardian include being:

  • 18 years old,
  • A U.S. resident,
  • Of sound mind, and
  • Willing to submit to fingerprinting and a background check.

Guardians may not:

  • Be legally disabled, or
  • Have a felony conviction that involves causing harm or the threat of harm to a child. This includes felony child endangerment and DUI with a child passenger.

Most adults are qualified to become guardians. Becoming a guardian is a much simpler - and less costly - process than adopting a child. There are many, many reasons guardianships are created. Our attorneys will take the time to understand your particular situation so that we can help you best.

Contact a Northbrook, IL Guardianship Lawyer

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is dedicated to helping parents and the people around them find solutions for short or long-term guardianship needs. We put the children involved first. Our goal is to ensure that the child in question is placed in the care of a safe adult. Contact us at 224-276-6776 for a complimentary consultation.

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