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A limited guardianship is a voluntary arrangement by a court order when the parents want someone else to assume parental duties. A parent must consent to a limited guardianship.
The parent agrees to the custody of the child by the guardian and abides by plan drawn up that includes visitation and support. This is a mutually agreeable document that is reviewed annually in a written report the limited guardian files with the court. The guardianship does not exempt the parent from liability. In other words, if the child does something that the parent could be held legally responsible for in terms of money, the guardianship does not allow the parent to avoid that responsibility.
The placement plan explains to the court why the parent wants someone else to provide care for the minor. It also provides for parenting time and financial support for the minor. It further states the length of the guardianship and any other provisions needed for the minor’s care and custody.
A placement plan can only be changed through a court hearing. The parent(s) must be made be aware that parental rights could be terminated for failure to comply with the plan.
The authority of a guardian is more likely to be accepted as a legal caretaker. For instance, a guardian can apply for benefits due to the minor, such as SSI, insurance, etc.
A limited guardian may not consent to adoption, release a minor for adoption, or consent to the marriage of a minor.
Full guardianship provides the minor with stability and more certainty when the parents cannot or are unable to provide that environment.
A guardian has the powers and responsibilities of a parent. The guardian must provide for the minor’s education, social activities, and authorize medical or other professional care and/or treatment for the minor
The guardian must submit an annual report to the court on condition of the minor. It includes but not limited to medical care, mental health treatment, educational status of the child. It should clearly state the reasons to continue the guardianship.
The guardian is not responsible for 3rd party liability (such as a suit for damages incurred by the minor, result of an automobile accident where the minor was at fault, etc.). A parent can be ordered to supply monetary support for the child.
In a limited guardianship the parent and guardian have a mutual agreement regarding visitation, child support; and the parent must sign the petition allowing the guardianship.
Full guardianship does not require the consent of a parent. It most frequently provides the minor with a more stable environment and longer-term relationship.
A full guardianship allows the guardian to give consent to a minor to marry, and with the court’s permission, can consent to the adoption of a minor.
The guardianship may be terminated by the filing of a petition with the court, or the minor becomes 18 years old.
The judge may terminate the guardianship at a review hearing.
If you have questions that are not answered, you should seek the advice of an attorney.