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Establishing guardianship for a child

| Jul 13, 2020 | Firm News |

While the saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child, parents in Oregon expect to be the one doing the raising. In some matters; however, it may be determined that a biological parents is not suitable to raise a child. In these cases, a guardianship may be established.

In order to establish guardianship, an individual must file a petition indicating their desire to obtain guardianship. With that, a letter of consent from the child’s parents, if available, should be filed as well. The next step in the process is for the court to interview the applicant, parents, if available, possibly the child and any person who may have an interest in the matter. If approved, an order will establish guardianship.

It is possible to appoint a legal guardian for a child; however, this is typically done when planning for a potential unfortunate event that results in your death or the inability to raise your children. This is best spelled out in a will.

When seeking guardianship of a child, guardianship is only granted in the following three situations. The first is when both parents or one available parent consents to it. The second is when the parents of the child have abandoned them or had their parental rights terminated. The final is when a judge determined that it is in the best interest of the child to remove the child for parental custody. Thus, if the parents do not agree to it, it is possible to obtain guardianship if one is able to prove that a parent is unfit.

Establishing guardianship of a child can be a complex and emotional process; however, it is one that should consider the best interests of the child. Whether you are seeking a guardian for your child, are having one established for your child or are the individual seeking to be the guardian, it is imperative to understand the process and how to navigate it.