There are many different reasons someone may seek guardianship of a child or an adult. At Johnson and Taylor, LLC, our family law and probate attorneys have years of experience handling all types of guardianship proceedings. We can help you understand what is involved in the process and guide you through it from beginning to end.
What Is A Legal Guardian?
A guardian has the legal authority to make personal and health care decisions for a minor, developmentally disabled adult or an adult who has become incapacitated. Generally, the duties of a guardian are to oversee the welfare and safety of the person under guardianship, which may include making decisions about health care, education, place of residence and finances. A guardian is appointed by the court, and the duties and responsibilities of a guardian vary depending on which type of guardianship is granted.
Guardianship determinations are made by the court in the best interests of the child. Oregon law permits any suitable person to petition the family court for guardianship of a minor. Guardianship does not terminate the birth parents’ rights but does give the guardian the responsibilities of a custodial parent. Involuntary guardianships (without the parents’ consent) are only granted when parents are unwilling or unable to adequately care for a child. A guardian does not have a legal obligation to support the child financially, but the weight of financial support often falls on a guardian’s shoulders.
To seek guardianship of a minor, you must file a petition with the applicable probate court. Depending on the situation and the type of guardianship you’re seeking, this area of the law can be complex. Whether you are a grandparent, step-parent, friend or other family member, if you’re seeking guardianship of a minor, having an experienced family law attorney in your corner is vital to ensure that the best interests of the child are served. If you’re a parent who wishes to give temporary authority to someone to care for your child, a power of attorney may be more appropriate than guardianship.
Guardianship and conservatorship for adults are typically handled in the Oregon probate court and are granted when a person lacks the capacity to make suitable decisions regarding their health and safety. A petition to appoint a guardian must be served on the incapacitated person and next of kin such as a spouse, children or siblings, who may file objections. Petitions for guardianship can be contentious, especially if there are multiple persons contesting the guardianship.
Contact A Guardianship Lawyer In Oregon
Our skilled and compassionate attorneys understand how challenging the guardianship process can be and fight to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected. Call us at 503-990-6641 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.