Guardianship Law

How Do You Establish Guardianship Of A Minor?

Are you considering becoming the guardian of a minor in Florida? There are a few things to consider first before you proceed. In this article, we’re discussing the intricacies of guardianship and what you need to know as a prospective guardian.

Taking anyone into your care is an important life decision that must be taken very seriously. After all, you are essentially saying that you are willing to be responsible for the life of another person. But the rewards of doing so are high, as you could effectively alter the course of someone else’s life for the better.

So let’s begin by looking at the ways in which guardianship can be appointed. If you still have questions after reading this article or you require legal representation in a guardianship case, we invite you to call us at Doane & Doane today. We will schedule you to speak with our guardianship attorney to discuss your needs further.

How Is Guardianship Established?

There are two ways you can establish guardianship in Florida. The first is by court order through the probate courts, and the second is by petitioning the court for a guardianship petition. You will need to hire a guardianship attorney to draft this petition. If you’re planning to file a petition with the court, we encourage you to give us a call so that we can assist you in the process.

Upon doing so, an examining committee will be appointed to your case. This committee consists of three medical professionals who will examine the minor to determine their mental and physical capabilities.

Some of the things you need to consider before filing a petition are the following: who you are trying to protect and their best interest, the nature and extent of their disability, who they live with and their relationship to the minor, and what type of guardianship is best for the child.

Understanding Florida Guardianship

What are some of the benefits of establishing guardianship? In the interest of the minor, there are many benefits of establishing guardianship. They include the following: 

  • A guardian can make financial and medical decisions for the minor
  • A guardian can make decisions regarding their health care and medical treatment
  • A guardian can provide custody and visitation to another party when necessary
  • A guardian can protect their child from other individuals who might hurt them
  • A guardian can stop other people from taking advantage of the minor
  • A guardian can help commit a mentally incompetent person to a mental health facility

In other words, the guardian of a minor is expected to provide the same level of care as a parent and their child. The goal is to ensure that the minor has reasonable care provided to them to improve their standard of living and quality of life.

Bottom Line

If you or someone you know is interested in establishing guardianship for a minor, you should consult with a local attorney for guidance. Establishing proper guardianship can help protect the best interests of the minor and ensure that the person making decisions for the child is capable and qualified to do so.

In Florida, guardianship is a court-appointed legal guardian for an individual who is unable to take care of him or herself. While there are a number of reasons a person might be unable to take care of him or herself, the main ones that lead to the need for guardianship are mental illnesses, drug and alcohol addictions, or physical disabilities.

All minors in Florida are granted the right to have a court-appointed guardian. The guardian must be someone who can meet the minor’s physical and emotional needs while also being able to make proper financial and medical decisions. 

Minors can petition to have a guardian appointed if they are at least 18 years old. To establish a guardianship, you can either file a petition in probate court or file a guardianship petition with the circuit court.

Custodianship vs Guardianship

Child custody or custodianship is a concept that is often misunderstood by the general public. Child custody laws govern the legal relationship between parents and their respective children after a separation or divorce. These laws also protect the best interests of children by ensuring that all children are placed with a parent who has been deemed fit by the court.

Custodianship is not the same as guardianship. Guardianship is the legal status that is given to a person who has been asked to take care of an individual who is a minor, a person who has a mental disability, or a person who is incapacitated. In these cases, the guardian is tasked with the care of the individual, making decisions for the best interest of the individual, and protecting the individual from harm.

Call Doane & Doane to Speak with a Guardianship Attorney

At Doane & Doane, we understand the complexities that often accompany guardianship cases. Our guardianship attorneys have extensive experience in these matters and will provide you with the legal counsel you deserve. What’s more, we will work hard to make the process of guardianship as easy as possible. So if you are planning to file a guardianship petition with a court in Palm Beach County, we invite you to contact our law office to schedule a consultation. You can reach us by calling 561-656-0200 or completing and submitting our contact form.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.