There is really only one good reason for doing a guardianship on your own without the assistance of a Family Law attorney. That is the savings of attorney fees. But there are numerous reasons why you should hire a Family Law attorney to prepare and guide you through the guardianship process.
I received a telephone call a couple of weeks ago from a woman who had just left the Clerk’s office with a guardianship packet assuming she could do it on her own. After review of the forms and feeling totally overwhelmed she contacted our office to ask for assistance.
There are many things you need to know when filing for a guardianship. You need to know if you want a temporary guardianship, permanent guardianship or both. Do you need an ex parte guardianship? Is the guardianship for the person or estate of the child or both. If there is more than one child the paperwork is completed in a different manner. What are the filing fees? In a temporary and permanent guardianship there are approximately 12 different forms needed totaling approximately 60 to 70 pages when completed. There are attachments to be completed for the various forms. It’s a complicated process and may take the average person hours and hours to complete the paperwork and an abundant amount of frustration.
Thus, when thinking about proceeding with a guardianship action, I truly feel it is the wisest decision to contact an attorney who specializes in the area of guardianships. Often times there is the necessity of proceeding quickly as a child’s life could be in danger in their present living arrangements i.e. their parents, one or both, may have drug or alcohol related issues and the child needs to be away from that environment until the parent or parents become rehabilitated. At that point a family member such as a grandparent(s) or aunt or uncle may file for a guardianship to provide a safe and stable environment for the child. Sometimes a guardianship may be temporary but a guardianship can also be permanent depending on the circumstances involved.
If you have questions or are thinking about filing a guardianship action, please contact the Law Office of Richard E. Bawden. Mr. Bawden is a Certified Family Law Specialist and we have the knowledge needed to provide any type of guardianship action needed . Please call us for an appointment.