The Steps to Being Your Grandchild’s Legal Guardian

As you may know there are more grandparents raising grandchildren now than ever before. If you are having problems wondering whether or not your grandchildren are living in a safe environment then it may be time to take action and gain custody or legal guardianship so you can be sure they are taken care of. The steps you must take to get guardianship are pretty straight forward and let’s look at the definition according to Wikipedia before we get started:

From Wikipedia: A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability. Most countries and states have laws that provide that the parents of a minor child can designate who shall become the child’s legal guardians in the event of death.

I would like to point out some reasons (but not all) you might want to try to gain guardianship.

Failure of the parents to provide

Physical care and cleanliness
Emotion care and a proper place to live
Are they sick and going without proper medical care?
Tardy to school,are they missing a lot of school and for what reasons?
No supervision at home. Do you know that they are being left alone at home?
Are they being exposed to a harmful environment, are the parents are making drugs inside the home?

If you are thinking of becoming your grandchild’s legal guardian the first thing I would do is to try to get the parents to just sign it over to you until they can get help with their problems. If this doesn’t work out it may be time to file a petition in court. The steps for this differ from state to state but are basically this:

File the petition
Gather the evidence you will need to prove that the children aren’t being taken care of properly
Bring witnesses with you that can back up your findings
The parents may dispute the wrong doing
The Judge will evaluate the situation as best he can
Witnesses will be called to support the need for a guardian to be appointed for the children
If the evidence shows the need and you are a suitable guardian you will be appointed.
If enough evidence has not be provided to support what you say the judge may send it to trial

In Summary: We have a real problem in our society today of parents not being able to care for their own children. We as grandparents must step up and see to it that our grandchildren get the care they need and hopefully it can be from us. Being a grandparent lets me know that I don’t want my grandchildren in foster care.