Guardianship of A Minor
A minor needs a guardian of his or her person when the minor has no living parents, when the parents cannot be found, or when the parents are unable or unwilling to care for the minor. Often, a guardianship is sought in lieu of adoption. A guardianship may be required to obtain medical treatment for the child or for school registration.
As a general rule, only a child's parents have the legal right to make decisions concerning the care and upbringing of that child. Legal guardianship of a minor is the process for granting that legal authority to someone other than the child's parents. This is usually done only in cases where the child is not in the care of a parent because the parent is unable to care for the child.
A petition must be filed in court. The petition will identify the child, the child's parents and siblings, the proposed guardian, the child's financial circumstances, and the reasons why a guardianship is needed. A notice of the court hearing is sent to the child's parents and adult siblings and to the child. At the court hearing, the judge decides whether the guardianship is in the child's best interests. The law presumes that the child is best placed with a parent, so the person seeking guardianship has the burden to prove otherwise if a parent objects to the guardianship.
A minor needs a guardian/conservator of his or her estate when he or she has or is about to receive, any money or property with a value such as from insurance, from an inheritance, or from the settlement of a personal injury case. A guardianship of the estate is not needed if the only asset of the minor is the right to collect social security benefits.
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Temporary Guardianship of Minor
There are special circumstances that a Parent can assign or delegate their parental powers on a temporary basis. Pursuant to Missouri statutes section 475.024, A parent of a minor, by a properly executed power of attorney, may delegate to another individual, for a period not exceeding one year, any of his or her powers regarding care or custody of the minor child such as medical treatment or education, except his or her power to consent to marriage or adoption of the minor child. This is an informal guardianship that you can authorize yourself as opposed to a permanent guardianship and other situations that may require approval by a court. Whether the child is traveling on a trip, staying with a relative while you are away, or staying with someone because of an emergency, it is a good method to have a written document giving another adult your authorization to care for the child. Some school districts do not accept this type of power of attorney to register a child in their district.
Probate Court is not the proper court for the determination of custody rights between the two legal parents of a minor child.
Contact a guardianship attorney in Independence, MO today.