Raising Someone Who Isn't Your Child? 4 Important Reasons To File For Guardianship

Many people end up taking responsibility for a child who is not their biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. Sometimes a grandma takes in her grandchildren or an aunt and uncle raise their nieces and nephews. Other times, a babysitter or neighbor may step in as a caretaker.

While an informal agreement may work temporarily, it is important to establish legal guardianship through the court system. A guardianship lawyer or attorney can help explain the process and assist in filing a petition for guardianship, which involves establishing parental rights and responsibilities. Here are four important reasons you should file for guardianship.

1) Guardianship provides a sense of security for the child

Having legal guardianship in place gives the child peace of mind knowing that their caretaker has rights and responsibilities as their guardian. It also ensures that the child has access to financial sources and other resources they may need in the future. For example, a guardianship lawyer can help ensure that the child is able to inherit property or money if something were to happen to their guardian.

2) Guardianship allows for decision-making authority

Having legal guardianship in place grants a guardian the power and authority to make decisions about the child's health, education, welfare, and other important matters. This can be a lifesaver if the child gets sick and needs medical care. Guardianship documents can also make it possible for a child to be enrolled in school or obtain a passport.

3) Guardianship clearly outlines the expectations of both parties

With legal guardianship, both the guardian and the child know exactly what is expected of them. This helps ensure that everyone involved is on the same page when it comes to the child's care and upbringing. It also helps prevent any disputes or misunderstandings in the future.

4) Guardianship protects an adult from liability

When someone takes guardianship of a child who is not their own, they are often taking on a great responsibility. There are certain laws that protect guardians from being held liable for any actions the child may take. Having legal guardianship in place ensures that the guardian is fully protected from any potential liability.

Guardianship also helps prevent charges from being filed against you if you get into a disagreement with the child's biological or adoptive parents. Some parents may try to file kidnapping charges or other legal claims against a guardian, but having guardianship in place can protect the adult from any such charges.

Filing for guardianship is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. A guardianship lawyer can help walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have about what guardianship entails.

Contact a local guardianship lawyer to learn more.