In some cases, minor children will live with a non-parent, such as an aunt/uncle or close friend of the family, while the parent or parents retain legal guardianship. There may be health or legal issues with the parents of the child that make it a better choice for the child to live with someone else,or it may have been decided as a family that it is best for the child to live with a non-parent for other reasons, but the parent(s) want to retain the right to decision-making. In the past, either the parent retained legal guardianship and the non-parent with whom the child resided could not make any legal, healthcare, or educational decisions for the child, or guardianship was turned over to the non-parent, and the parent retained no legal guardianship rights.Currently, however, a parent may grant concurrent alternative guardianship rights to a non-parent with whom their child is living.In this way, the non-parent custodian of the child can make decisions if the parent is unable or unavailable without having to go to court to get permission to do so.This process can be tough to navigate, and allowing our law firm to help you can ease this transition and give you peace of mind that the right legal choices have been made each step of the way.

Who Is Responsible for Choices in the Minor Child’s Life While Living With the Non-Parent?

In the past, the courts would need to get involved each time changes needed to be made to the guardianshipof the minor, whether related to healthcare, legal,or educational needs. If the non-parent caregiver wanted to make changes in schools or healthcare options for the minor child, for example, they would need to go to court in order to do so. Currently, howeverone or both parents can retain their authority and stipulate which actions the caregiver is able or not able to take in the child’s life under the Act Relative To Caregiver Education and Health Care Authorization. This documentation only requires one parent’s signature, removing roadblocks for blended families if a step-parent is involved and will continue caring for the minor child while the biological parent isn’t able to. The parent’s decisions are upheld over the caregiver’s in the event of any disputes for the duration of time that the parent has stipulated in the agreement. The caregiver also signs with the understanding that they are to adhere to the parent’s decisions.

Why Is It Important To Have Legal Representation in The Alternate Guardianship Process?

Choosing to navigate non-parental alternative guardianship of a childon your own may seem like an easy decision at first. However, there are things to consider that you may not have thought of. What if, in a year, the minor child has some health issues that need attention immediately, and you are on active duty in the military or having health issues of your own and are not able to be reached for decisions? What if a situation at school arises and decisions need to be made quickly for the benefit of the child and their future? It can be tough to imagine all the possible scenarios, and our experienced teamcan walk you through some of the scenarios we have seen in the past and explain why having a plan in place beforehand benefits you and the minor child.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for this process? 

An experienced law firm can help discuss your options, as well as help with any questions that you have or raise some questions you may not have thought of yourself. Our law firm has handled numerous cases such as these in the past, so we are able to help you navigate the transition, making sure the minor child and their future are of utmost concern. Contact us today at 774-214-2137.