Legal Guardianship Chicago – What you need to know
What is legal guardianship, and what does it have to do with divorce? In general, a guardianship is a legal relationship between an adult and a minor child (or disabled adult). With children, the guardian doesn’t take the legal place of the child’s parents—a guardianship is very different from an adoption in this way—but rather makes certain decisions for the child and/or acts in the child’s best interest.
Under Illinois law, different kinds of guardianships exist. When we’re talking about the guardianship of a child, the law recognizes four different types of guardians. It’s important to understand how different types of guardianships work in our state, and why guardians sometimes are appointed for children in the middle of a custody battle.
Different Types of Guardianship
Different kinds of guardianships exist in Illinois, and they include the following:
Guardians can be appointed in many different kinds of situations. In some cases, a court will appoint a guardian to act in the child’s best interest. In some divorce and custody proceedings, the judge will appoint a GAL, for instance, to investigate the child’s situation. Unlike a GAL, it’s often a parent who appoints a standby guardian or a short-term guardian.
Particularly contentious divorces can sometimes lead a grandparent or other close relative to seek legal guardianship of a child. Such cases can be extremely complicated, and you should always discuss your situation with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer.
Requirements for Guardianship
What do guardians of minor children have in common? Under Illinois law, in order to become a guardian of any type (other than a GAL), you must meet the following requirements:
In addition to becoming the guardian of a child, Illinois can also appoint guardians for disabled adults. While this type of guardianship appears less frequently in divorce cases and family law situations involving custody disputes, it’s important to know that guardians do exist for persons other than minor children.
If you have questions about child custody or guardianship, you should contact an experienced Chicago family law attorney as soon as possible. Issues of guardianship can be quite complicated, and it’s important to have a dedicated advocate on your side. At the law offices of M. Scott Gordon & Associates, we have years of experience handling guardianship matters in the Chicago area.