Minor Guardianship Attorney in Raleigh, NC
Minor children depend on their parents and other adults for physical care, support, healthcare, and education. Unfortunately, some children’s biological parents are not always able or available to carry out these responsibilities. In these cases, a minor guardianship is necessary to ensure that someone acts in the child’s best interests.
At Brady Cobin Law Group in Raleigh, NC, we can provide you with the legal advice and representation you need when filing for guardianship. Call us today at (919) 782-3500 to schedule a consultation.
What Is Minor Guardianship Under North Carolina Law?
A minor guardianship is a legal relationship between an individual and a child under their care. Ideally, a child’s guardian should be a relative, but the courts may appoint a family friend to fulfill this role. A guardian can also be a government agency, such as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
A guardian’s duties depend on the type of guardianship. Three types of minor guardianship exist:
- Guardian of the person: This guardian is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care and general wellbeing. For example, if the child falls ill, this guardian must ensure that the child receives proper medical care.
- Guardian of the estate: This kind of guardian focuses on proper management of the child’s finances. A guardian of the estate is not responsible for the child’s physical wellbeing.
- General guardian: The court may appoint a general guardian responsible for both the child’s estate and personal wellbeing.
Before making an appointment, the court will consider the child’s circumstances and best interests.
Guardianship differs from custody. While both are legal relationships to promote a child’s best interests, the court typically grants guardianship to someone who is not the child’s biological parent. A child can be in the custody of a parent and under the guardianship of someone else.
When Is a Minor Guardianship Necessary in North Carolina?
In most cases, the parent of a minor child also acts as the child’s natural guardian. However, if both the parents have died or are otherwise unable to care for their child due to life circumstances, the court may establish a minor guardianship.
A guardianship may be necessary if one or both parents are unable to meet their child’s needs due to:
- Incapacity resulting from illness or injury
- Financial issues
- Substance abuse
- Work-related circumstances, such as military deployment
If a child has an unfavorable housing situation, a third party can file a petition and obtain a court order that appoints them as the child’s legal guardian.
At Brady Cobin Law Group, we recommend that every parent designate a person as potential guardian for their children as part of their estate planning. Ideally, the potential guardian should also know about this appointment and consent to the responsibility before something happens to the parents.
The Minor Guardianship Process in North Carolina
If you want to become a child’s legal guardian, you must file a petition with the Clerk of the North Carolina Superior Court. As part of the application process, you must indicate the type of guardianship you seek and then pay a court fee. Under state court rules, you can only file this application in the county where the child resides.
After filing the relevant documents, the court will set a hearing date and appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests throughout the process. This guardian ad litem will determine the child’s best interests and make recommendations to the court.
Consult With a Minor Guardianship Attorney in Raleigh, NC
Are you seeking guardianship over a child in North Carolina? At Brady Cobin Law Group, we can help you navigate the legal process and provide you with the legal advice you need. Contact us today at (919) 782-3500 in Raleigh, NC, to schedule a consultation.
We had an a wonderful experience with Andrew and Elizabeth! We had wills from out of state that needed to be updated in order to be compliant with NC law. We chose Brady Cobin Law firm due to Andrew’s affiliation with the military.
Compared to our experience in NJ, Andrew provide a lot more explanation to all of the documents, answered all questions, and truly understand our ultimate goal.
I was highly impressed with all of the documents that were created in addition to supplemental documents that would help with estate planning. If completed, it would really help the heirs/executors in the decision making.
Finally, while we were finalizing some of the work related to estate planning, Andrew was very responsive when I had additional questions.
I highly recommend Brady Cobin!!! You can’t go wrong!