Minor Guardianship in Massachusetts
Children under 18 need a responsible adult to provide for their needs, from living arrangements to education. When a parent can’t assume this duty, the child may need a legal guardian to take care of the usual parenting functions. People seeking minor guardianship are often the child’s extended family members like grandparents, aunts, or uncles.
If you’re looking for the best legal way to secure a minor family member’s welfare, call our team at Jordan & White at (978) 744-2811. Our experienced legal team, serving the North Shore of Massachusetts, will guide you through the minor guardianship process.
Why a Minor May Need a Guardian in Massachusetts
Minor children may need legal guardians if their natural parents:
- Have passed away without making the necessary provisions in their will
- Abandoned the child or neglected their parenting duties
- Are unfit to care for the child due to drug or alcohol abuse, chronic illness, or other circumstances
For all intents and purposes, a legal guardian steps into a parent’s shoes. They have physical custody of the child, commit to acting in the child’s best interests, and assume responsibility for the child’s medical care, education, living arrangements, and other needs.
Applying for Minor Guardianship in Massachusetts
The minor guardianship process in Massachusetts involves the following basic steps:
- Filing the necessary probate court documents, such as the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of a Minor and the Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody.
- Notifying the relevant persons, such as the child’s natural parents, any current guardians, and the child (if over 14).
- Attending a court hearing that will determine whether the minor needs a legal guardian and whether the applicant is the likeliest person to provide for the child’s best interests in this capacity. During the hearing, the court may either appoint a guardian or issue a temporary guardianship decree and schedule another hearing.
Do You Need a Minor Guardianship Attorney?
The process of applying for minor guardianship can be long and complex, especially in cases of contested guardianship—for example, if the child’s natural parents oppose the guardianship arrangements or several family members wish to assume guardianship over a minor. The experienced minor guardianship lawyers of Jordan & White will:
- Help you fill out and file all the necessary court forms
- Present your case before the probate court and help you show that you are the fittest person to serve as a legal guardian for the child
- Help you secure the child’s best interests in contested guardianship cases
- Guide you about complying with your legal duties as a guardian in Massachusetts
Jordan & White, LLC: Trusted Legal Advice on Minor Guardianship in Massachusetts
Do you have a grandchild, nephew, niece, or a younger sibling under 18 in need of stable, secure care? Applying for legal guardianship can give you the proper authority to provide for the child in your life. Our guardianship attorneys of Jordan & White, LLC, will help you navigate the minor guardianship procedure in Massachusetts.
Call us at (978) 744-2811 or contact us online for trusted legal support with minor guardianship.