Types of Legal Guardianship for Minors

Human rights are currently among the focal points of governments worldwide. To this end, most governments now have a guardianship process in place. This is the legal process of protecting anyone who cannot do so owing to disability, incapacity, or infancy. Courts, in this case, will appoint someone to care for the person who needs protection known as the ward.

Guardianship of a minor is one of the most common ones. Here, courts will appoint an adult to care of a child for whom they are not a natural parent. To get legal guardianship, attorneys in Greenwood, Indiana, will file a petition in the relevant courts to kickstart the process. Guardians for minors are selected in the best interests of a child.

The courts will typically choose a guardian that has ties with the ward like those chosen by the child, relative, parent, or a private person or state employee familiar with the child. When selected as a legal guardian, you will provide accommodation for the child to attend public school, apply for public housing or assistance if need be, or bring lawsuits on a child’s behalf.

Unlike in custody, a legal guardian is not the child’s birth parent. The following are the legal guardianship forms the courts can grant for your case.

Permanent Guardianship

In this instance, you will be given a lifelong responsibility for a child. This does not mean that the duties of a birth parent will be automatically terminated, but if it is in a ward’s best interests, the courts will terminate the rights. In most cases, however, permanent guardianship is granted for orphaned children.

Limited Guardianship

This is granted for cases where a child does not need as much supervision. Your powers as a guardian to make decisions for the child are limited by the child’s mental, physical, and adaptable limitations. In general, you will only make the decisions that your ward cannot make. The guardian’s powers in limited guardianship will be explicitly detailed in the court order.

Guardianship of the Estate

This is a form of limited guardianship. In this option, you are responsible for the management of bank accounts, income, and other financial assets. The primary objective of a guardianship of the estate is the preservation, management, and eventual disposition of inheritance in a child’s best interests.


Guardianship of the Person

This alternative is primarily an opposite of the guardianship of the estate. Here, you will be assigned guardianship of a child’s non-financial needs. You will thus focus on the minor’s healthcare, comfort, education, and personal care.

Guardianship Ad Litem

This form of guardianship is specifically used for the representation of a child’s interest in legal proceedings. These include divorce and probate cases and other situations where a child has been abused or neglected. Guardianship ad litem only lasts until the courts have settled the matter.

The above forms of guardianship will be terminated when a child reaches the majority age in the state that grants the guardianship. In some cases, however, the courts will reinstate the guardianship if you prove that the ward still needs supervision. The ward’s marriage can also terminate the guardianship as can the appointment of a new guardian.

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