There are times when someone needs to provide care for someone who is not their biological child. This could be because of the death of the child's parents or for some other reason. While it is not an ideal situation, it is important to make sure your child's future is handled properly. In most cases, this means naming someone as the legal guardian of the child or children. Take some time to learn the basics of how guardianships work in Maryland. If you have any questions, or you need help with a guardianship, please don't hesitate to contact The Tyra Law Firm to set up a consultation with an attorney today.
Types of Guardianships
When seeking a guardianship of a minor child, there are two types that can be considered. These are:
- Guardianship of Property – This type of guardian is able to make decisions on any assets for the child. If the child is a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, for example, this guardian would be able to decide how that money is spent and/or invested.
- Guardianship of Person – This type of guardian makes decisions in regard to the healthcare, medical, and general living aspects of the child. This would include where they attend school or what treatments they should receive.
You can petition to become either of these two types of guardian, or both, depending on your situation. Relatives of the minor who want to become guardians often seek to be both types. In other cases, a family friend may become the guardian of person, and an accountant or other individual will be the guardian of the property.
Process of Seeking Guardianship
When seeking to become a guardian in Maryland, you need to petition the courts to grant this responsibility. Ideally, you will be the only person to petition the courts, but in some cases other family members or loved ones will also be seeking guardianship. When this occurs, there will be a court date set to determine who will be granted guardianship.
If there is no conflict, the courts will determine if you are able to meet the requirements of being a guardian for the child or children. If the courts rule in your favor, they will issue the judgement that grants you the legal status of legal guardian. You will immediately begin acting in your new role. The courts can also put some additional responsibilities, such as having to check in with the court on a regular basis, on your guardianship status. In most cases, however, once the courts grant guardianship, it usually remains in place until the child becomes an adult.