Guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a person, known as a guardian, is appointed to take care of another person, known as a ward, who is unable to make decisions for themselves. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the ward being under the age of 18, having a mental or physical disability, or being incapacitated due to illness or injury.
There are two main types of guardianship: full guardianship and limited guardianship. Each type of guardianship has its own unique set of rights and responsibilities, and it’s important to understand the differences between the two if you’re considering guardianship for yourself or someone else.
Full guardianship, also known as plenary guardianship, gives the guardian complete authority to manage the ward’s wellbeing and make decisions about their healthcare, education, and daily life. This type of guardianship is usually assigned by the court or a parent to a close relative who is most familiar with the ward.
Reasons for Full Guardianship
Some of the main reasons a guardian might be appointed full guardianship for a minor include the death of the minor’s parents, mental incapacity of the parent(s), or a court order. According to the National Council on Disability, there are currently an estimated 1.3 million adults with disabilities who are under guardianship in the United States.
Rights and Responsibilities of Full Guardianship
As a full guardian, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a parent, meaning you have to take care of the minor. Additionally, you can decide where the child will live, what medical care and education they will receive, and other daily decisions. However, if the parents are alive and financially capable, the guardian may petition for the parents to provide child support. The guardian must also file yearly reports about the minor’s welfare and notify the court of any changes.
Limited guardianship, also known as partial guardianship, is a type of guardianship that allows the guardian to make only some decisions, mainly regarding personal care. However, the court orders specific decisions for the ward. This type of guardianship is often used when the ward’s custodial parents want to terminate or suspend their parental rights.
Reasons for Limited Guardianship
Many parents may choose to pursue limited guardianship for their child if they are unable to care for them due to financial or personal reasons. According to the National Disability Rights Network, as of 2017, there were an estimated 1.5 million adults under guardianship in the United States, with more than 90% of them under limited guardianship.
Rights and Responsibilities of Limited Guardianship
A limited guardian can make decisions about the ward’s personal care, such as healthcare and living arrangements. However, they may need formalized consent for different situations, especially when other family members are involved. For example, a limited guardian can’t consent to the adoption or marriage of the ward.
If you’re facing a court battle as a potential guardian, it’s important to seek legal help from experienced guardianship lawyers who can explain your responsibilities as a guardian and help you navigate the legal process. The attorneys at Warnock Law Group in Fort Meyers, Florida, are qualified to assist with all aspects of guardianship, including full and limited guardianship.
Whether you’re a parent or considering guardianship for someone else, it’s important to understand the different types of guardianship and their respective rights and responsibilities. If you need further help with guardianship, contact a reputable law firm or attorney to discuss your legal options.
6843 Porto Fino Cir,
Fort Myers, FL 33912, USA