Termination Of A Guardianship--Children
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When Does A Guardianship Terminate?
Generally, a guardianship does not terminate unless it has been approved by a Court. This rule is true even for voluntary resignations of the guardianship.
A guardianship may be terminated under a number of various conditions, including:
- the child attains the age of majority (usually 18)
- the child marries, is adopted or dies
- the guardian becomes ill, incapacitated or dies
- the guardian renounces, resigns or is removed by court order
- the court determines the guardian's assistance or protection is no longer needed
- a person interested in the welfare of the child petitions a court to have the guardianship removed
Who Can Petition For The Termination Of A Guardianship And How Is Termination Decided?
Typically, any person interested in the welfare of the child may petition the court to have a guardian removed.
Termination will be based on the regulations provided in state statutes. Although there may be many reasons listed in the state statutes that justify termination, usually the determination is weighed against the best interests of the child.
If Termination Is Successful Who Will Become The New Guardian?
In most states, if the child is fourteen years or older then the child may elect who will become their guardian. If the child is not fourteen or is in a state that does not follow the fourteen year-old rule, then the guardian will be selected based on a court's determination of the best interests of the child.
Some states follow the parental preference doctrine that will preclude consideration of the child's best interests if the new guardianship is sought by the natural parent and that natural parent has not abandonned, been deemed unfit, or been out of the custody of the child for a substantial amount of time.
Should I Seek A Family Lawyer?
If you think that the current guardianship of a child should be terminated, then you should seek a family lawyer to determine the options you have in terminating the guardianship. If you need help in determining the best interests of the child, then seeking an attorney specializing in guardian ad litem might better suit your needs.
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Last Modified: 11-16-2012 02:49 PM PST
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