Experienced Utah Lawyer Helps Families Create Guardianships for Minors
Salt Lake City family law practitioner fosters legal mechanisms for protecting children and their property
If a child is without parents of if the parents are unwilling or unable to make responsible decisions for the child’s welfare, a court may appoint a guardian to care for them. When this occurs, family law attorney Victoria Cramer is ready to help Utah families with this option.
What is a guardianship?
In a guardianship for a minor, an adult other than the child’s parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the child’s life that a parent normally would, such as their health care, education, religious upbringing and finances, except to the extent the court limits their authority. A guardianship may be required because the parents are deceased, absent, irresponsible or want someone else to make decisions for the child.
If you are appointed as a guardian, you are required to act in the child, your ward’s, best interests. You must also file reports with the court soon after appointment, each year and at the termination of your guardianship. Attorney Cramer can give you reliable advice on how a guardianship works, your reporting requirements and help you make decisions about setting one up or accepting the role of guardian.
How can you become a guardian?
You can become a guardian of a child in a variety of ways, including:
- Nomination by parents — The child’s parent or parents may nominate you in a will or other signed document, but you must accept in writing.
- Appointment by a school board — If the child’s custodial parent resides out of state, the school board of the district where the child goes to school may designate a responsible adult as the child’s custodian.
- Appointment by juvenile court — A juvenile court has the authority to appoint a guardian for a minor in a child welfare proceeding for that minor.
- Appointment by a district court — The most common way to create a guardianship is through a proceeding for that purpose in a state district court.
You may commence a guardianship proceeding if you are interested in the minor’s welfare, even if you want someone else to be the guardian. If someone objects to this action, you and the objector must exchange certain information and meet to mediate your dispute. In every guardianship proceeding, the court holds a hearing to decide if the guardian and guardianship are in the child’s best interest. If it is, the court will appoint a suitable guardian. Victoria Cramer is ready to help you create a guardianship or represent you in a guardianship proceeding, whether you are seeking or objecting to the guardianship. She can also represent you in proceedings to terminate the guardianship or transfer it to another state.