There are situations when minor children need to be assigned a guardian. The most common of these is when the parents of the children die, but the parents may become incapacitated as well, such as if they were to suffer serious injury in an automobile accident. If you are trying to obtain guardianship status, it is important that you work with a College Station guardianship attorney who understands the process and complications that may arise.
Two Kinds of Guardianship
There are actually two different forms of guardianship: that of one’s person and another of the person’s property. A person who is named guardian of minor children may be granted guardianship over the children’s inherited assets as well. The child for whom the guardian is granted supervision is called the ward. A minor who is made a ward must be under age 18 and cannot have been granted emancipated status.
Priority for Granting of Guardianships
The state grants guardianship petitions in accordance with a set of priorities. This is important when disputes occur over who should be named guardian. Priority follows this order:
- Biological parents
- A person who is appointed guardian by the surviving parent
- The next of kin to the child, generally a grandparent, aunt or uncle
- More distant family members
Absent a family member who is willing to assume to role of guardian, the court will appoint an individual.
The following is the procedure you must follow to gain status as guardian:
- File a petition for guardianship with the probate court clerk. This must be in the judicial district where the child lives. Other documents may be required to accompany the petition.
- Make sure that your argument for why you should be named guardian is compelling. If a dispute arises the court will determine who is best suited in accordance with the priority named above.
- Schedule a court hearing with the court clerk.
- Take the required guardianship test. This is administered by the Guardianship Certification Board of Texas.
- Obtain as much supporting information as you can to bolster your petition when it is presented in court. This can include interviews with witnesses and information related to your past role in the children’s lives.
- Make your case to the probate court judge at your hearing.
If You Have Questions or Are Seeking Guardianship
It is in your best interests to have a College Station guardianship lawyer in your hire to provide you with the best chance of obtaining legal guardianship of the children in question. Call Peterson Law Group to arrange a meeting at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.