Tag Archives: guardianships

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.





ABLE Accounts Could Help Your Disabled Ward

ABLE, Wheaton family law attorneysIn early May 2017, Illinois announced the opening of the statewide ABLE Act Program, billed as a life-changer for those with disabilities. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, known as the ABLE Act, was passed by the federal government in 2014, and states were given the opportunity to develop an appropriate program to administer the infrastructure. Illinois’s took some time to complete, but at this point, the program is open and able to receive applications. Naturally, one might wonder if applying is worth the effort. The answer is going to depend on your individual situation, especially if you or another person has guardianship over your disabled loved one.

The Program

Normally, in order to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must show that you have very few assets of your own, and your total net worth must remain under $2,000. However, as costs of living have risen and insurance companies have cut back on the coverage they will provide, such a limit is not tenable for many, especially families, who may need that supplemental income. For example, it is not uncommon for a disabled person to marry, and then promptly lose their benefits. This happens because his or her spouse’s income is counted among their own assets, as that person’s income is counted among his or her spouse’s assets. Such outcomes are patently inequitable.

The ABLE Act seeks to give families in these positions a bit of help. Disabled adults or parents of disabled children may establish ABLE accounts for themselves and pay into them without having to worry about it affecting their eligibility for SSI or other means-tested government benefits. Because many of the costs of disability care are not covered by insurance, an ABLE account may, at least in theory, be used to help pay for such aids as a certain type of wheelchair, accessible transportation, or similar things intended to improve the disabled person’s quality of life.

People Under Guardianship

While for many, ABLE accounts appear to be a significant help for the disabled in saving money and dignity, there are some factors to be aware of if you are under guardianship or are the guardian of a disabled adult. The Arc of Illinois explains that if someone is under guardianship, but he or she wishes to establish an ABLE account, it generally requires court approval to do so. It can also require a surety bond, as well as approval of all expenditures from the account, depending on the county and the nature of the guardianship. In most cases, a guardian of the person must seek approval to manage the account on the disabled person’s behalf while a guardian of the estate does not require such approval.

The rationale behind this is that generally, the disabled person is in control of the account, with no trustees or governing entity behind them. However, if someone has a guardian of the estate, by definition, the disabled person is not in control of the account. This can cause difficulties in the future, especially if the person has intellectual disabilities and may not have sufficient capacity to make decisions regarding his or her finances.

Need Help Understanding ABLE Accounts?

Overall, ABLE accounts are seen as a positive step for disabled people in terms of being able to support themselves, but the equation becomes more complex if there is a guardianship involved. Our passionate DuPage County family law attorneys can help advise you on how to ensure that your ward will be provided for and given the as many opportunities as possible to be independent. Contact our offices today to set up an initial consultation.