Tag Archives: guardianship

Awarding Temporary Guardianship of Your Child

DuPage County guardianship lawyerTemporary custody is usually decided during divorce, as the child’s parents are likely to split up before the marriage is dissolved, and is subject to change when the divorce is finalized. After all, divorce typically takes many months, as assets and debts need to be accounted for, child support and spousal support are debated, and division of property is negotiated.

However, in some cases not associated with divorce, a parent (or parents) may wish to willfully give temporary guardianship to another party. For example, a mother with full legal custody may wish to grant the child’s father guardianship if she knows she will be leaving the country for an extended multi-month work trip, during which she will be unable to take care of her child. A guardianship attorney can help make this possible.

Who Can Be Given Custody?

According to 755 ILCS 5/Probate Act of 1975, temporary guardianship may be awarded to a relative or family friend when the parent of a child temporarily cannot provide care. A parent can decide who they want to have as the temporary guardian of their child as long as that person is at least 18 years of age, not a felon, a U.S. citizen, not legally disabled, and of legally sound mind. Typically, a parent will choose:

  • The child’s other parent;
  • A grandparent of the child;
  • A godparent;
  • Another close family relative; or
  • A close family friend.

In What Situations Would a Parent Award Temporary Custody of Their Child?

Work Obligations: Americans travel for work more now than at any other time. High-income earners ($75,000 or more per year) are significantly more likely to travel for business, with 58.3 percent of respondents to a survey answering “definitely yes” or “probably yes” to a question of whether or not they would consider themselves a frequent business traveler. Some employees are required to work for extended periods out of state or country. For a single parent with considerable work obligations, such as long hours or business trips, obtaining a close family member or friend, or the child’s other parent, to fill in as a temporary guardian may be a good short-term option.

Other Responsibilities: Whether you have educational commitments or an obligation to care for a sick parent, you may not have the time to care for your child as well.
Financial Problems: A parent who cannot afford to take care of his or her child may opt to grant temporary custody.

Temporary Incapacitation: If a parent knows they are going to be sick, with cancer, for example, they can grant temporary custody to another person. The mean number of days per stay in a hospital is 12.5 for admissions due to cancer-related pain, and many cancer patients are admitted numerous times during 12-month periods. Or, if the parent became injured or ill and is expected to require many weeks or months of recovery time in the hospital, they may wish to give temporary custody.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Guardianship Attorney

When awarding temporary custody, you need to ensure you are given visitation rights, as well as set the duration, where the child will live, and other financial agreements. Let the experienced DuPage County child guardianship attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group help. Call us at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.





The Concept of Guardianship in Illinois

guardianship, DuPage County family law attorneyIn Illinois, a guardianship is created when when the court grants legal decision-making authority to an individual on behalf of another person who is incapable of or cannot reasonably make such decisions themselves. Persons subject to guardianships include minors, since they lack the legal authority to make such decisions, adults with severe mental or physical disabilities or impairment, elderly persons suffering from dementia or mental decline, and adults suffering from severe mental health conditions, among many others.

How Does Guardianship Differ from Parenting Rights and Responsibilities?

A guardianship can include the right to act as a parent and take on parental responsibilities for minor children, but it does not apply to the child’s natural parents, who may seek parenting time without establishing guardianship.

Typically, persons who seek guardianship of minor children include stepparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, adult siblings, extended family or close friends of the family when a child’s parents have died, or are unable or unfit to continue serving as caregiver.

How Does the Court Decide Guardianship Cases?

Guardianship motions are decided on a case-by-case basis, and the court considers many relevant factors, including:

  • The fitness and motivations of the persons seeking guardianship;
  • The wishes of the person subject to potential guardianship;
  • Clear and convincing evidence as to the mental capacity of the potential ward;
  • The type and severity of the potential ward’s disabilities;
  • Whether the potential ward’s condition may continue to decline or fail to improve;
  • Testimony from physicians, psychologists, therapists, teachers, and other professionals familiar with the case; and
  • The previously expressed wishes of the child or children’s parents who have passed away.

What May Make Guardianship Necessary or Desirable?

Several common situations can prompt the need for establishing an official guardianship. In many instances, caregivers are already serving the role of guardian, without having established the legal relationship. Some situations that may make guardianship necessary or convenient include:

  • Enrolling a minor in school or an adult in an adult daycare program;
  • Making important medical decisions;
  • Having the legal authority to receive private information protected by law, such as medical or educational records;
  • Committing a loved one to psychiatric treatment, rehab program, residential facility or nursing home without their consent;
  • Receiving public assistance or benefits on behalf of the potential ward;
  • Obtaining parenting rights when a parent is unfit or has abandoned the child; and
  • Carrying out the wishes of parents who have named preferred guardians for their children in a will.

Consult an Experienced Guardianship Attorney in Illinois

Whatever your reasons for seeking to serve as a guardian of your loved one, your experienced DuPage County family law attorney can help protect your best interests, and those of your potential ward. Contact us for professional help today.




Adoption & Guardianship in Illinois

guardianship, adoption, DuPage County family lawyersFor children placed in foster care, there can be an intense desire to be placed in a stable home with a loving family. Over the past decade, programs sponsored by the State of Illinois have helped place over 15,000 children into permanent homes. The decision to bring a child into the home is a life-changing decision for a family and the adopted child. Illinois allows for two processes to take place in order to place a child permanently in a home – adoption and guardianship.

Adoption is a legal process through which an adoptive parent assumes all rights and responsibilities of a child in foster care, including the care, supervision, and custody of the child, as if the adoptive parent actually gave birth to the child. Adoption terminates the rights of the birth parent. Adoption can occur through one of four avenues:

  1. Agency assisted adoption – an adoptive parent works with a licensed adoption agency to adopt a child within the United States;
  2. International adoption – an adoptive parent works with a licensed adoption agency to adopt a child outside of the United States;
  3. Private adoption – an adoptive parent works with an adoption attorney to adopt a child within the United States; or
  4. Foster care – an adoptive parent becomes a licensed foster parent and provides long term care for a foster child. If the child is not able to return to the birth parent, a foster parent can convert to an adoption.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal process to permanently place children who are not allowed to return home to the birth parent or adoption is not an option. A guardianship proceeding is usually a good option for caregivers or family members who want to provide a permanent home for children in their care. Unlike adoption, becoming a guardian does not terminate the birth parent’s parental rights. The appointed guardian would only be responsible for the care, supervision, and legal custody of the child. The guardianship expires when the child reaches 18 years old.

Resources Available to Parents

Because the adoption and guardianship processes create big changes in families, Illinois has a number of resources and training programs available to help families after the adoption or guardianship has been finalized. A six-hour in-service training program is available to instruct families on how to be an effective advocate for your child, the rights of the adoptive parent/guardian and the child, special education services, and understanding childhood trauma and the implications on education. A lending library and free webinars are also available to help educate families on parenting techniques and ways to deal with many different situations that may arise when parenting your child.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you are interested in adopting a child or obtaining a guardianship over a child, it is important to contact a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss your available options. An attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of the adoption or guardianship process. Contact our caring DuPage County family law attorneys for a consultation.