Boise Guardianship Lawyer - Idaho Divorce Law Firm

Boise Guardianship Lawyer

Seeking custody of minor children is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and, depending on the circumstances involved, can be an emotional and difficult process that needs to be carefully managed. If you have found yourself involved in a guardianship dispute, it is important that you have access to clear, quality legal advice - and we are here to help.

 

What Are Guardianships and Conservatorships?

Both guardianship and conservatorship refer to the practice of one individual - the guardian or conservator - gaining legal control over key elements of the life of another individual (known as the protected person), and this can be either physical wellbeing and welfare or financial responsibilities.

Once appointed, a guardian will have legal responsibility for elements that impact the protected person on a physical and emotional level, and this includes determining where they live, which medical treatment they receive, and who they may or may not make contact with. A conservator, on the other hand, will be responsible for managing the finances of a protected person deemed incapacitated.

There are two main areas in which a guardianship or conservatorship may be implemented: children and adults.

  • Children

Guardianship of children occurs when either one or both parents are deemed to be unable to care for their child. When this happens, another adult may apply to take custody of the child or children in question, and this process is known as guardianship.

Woman sits on chair with a happy child’s arms around her. Get in touch with our skilled Boise guardianship lawyer to help you through the complex journey of gaining guardianship.

In some cases, the guardian, or another adult, may also seek a conservatorship in order to control and manage any financial assets that are in the possession of a child - this may or may not be the same individual responsible for guardianship.

  • Adults

While guardianships are commonly associated with children, they can also be put in place for adults who are deemed unable to care for themselves, usually as a result of illness, or due to advanced age. In these situations, a guardianship will hand over power to a named individual, and this ensures that the vulnerable adult is kept safe and protected as they continue to deteriorate and decline.

Who May Become A Guardian?

According to the law, any individual can apply to file a petition of guardianship over a child, provided that they are not the biological or adoptive parents of that child, or that a child custody order is not already in place.

Guardians can be appointed by the court in situations where biological parents have had their parental rights terminated, have abused or neglected their child, or are deceased. In most cases, guardians will be family members or close family friends of the child or children.

In order to be eligible for guardianship, there are a few requirements that must be met:

  • The guardian must not be the biological or adoptive parents of the child
  • The guardian must not have any convictions for child abuse
  • The guardian must not have any child protection orders filed against their name
  • The guardian must have a genuine interest in the welfare and wellbeing of the child or children in question

In order to prove that guardianship is necessary, the individual who is applying to become a guardian must prove the following to a court:

  • The biological parents of the child have abused, neglected, or abandoned the child in question.
  • The child is currently residing in a home that is unsafe or unstable
  • The potential guardian is in a position to adequately care for the child - this must include having adequate financial support, as well as a stable home, and the time and energy to dedicate to the child's welfare and wellbeing.
  • Any other factors that are deemed to be relevant

The prospective guardian will also be required to complete an online course, which has been developed by the Idaho Supreme Court Guardianship/Conservatorship Committee. This is intended to offer prospective guardians more information about the role, and the responsibilities that come with this. This is ordered by the court, and a key step in the process of becoming a guardian.

When an application for guardianship is made to the court, the judge will look at all of these factors, and decide whether the guardianship should be granted. If the application is successful, they will rule in favor of the guardian, who will then be required to take responsibility for the personal care that would typically befall a biological or legal parent. If the child has significant financial assets which need to be managed, a conservatorship may also be applied for and considered.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are located in the Boise area, and have concerns about a child or loved one in your life, or are simply looking for more information on the guardianship process, get in touch today. Our team of qualified, experienced attorneys has the skills you need to make an informed and confident decision and can help you navigate the guardianship journey every step of the way, ensuring the best outcome for you and your loved one.