What Types of Guardianship of a Minor in NJ Are There?
Typically, minors are cared for by their parents. In these cases, all legal decisions can be made by the parent. However, there may be times when it is required that a separate person takes care of their legal rights.
Examples of when this is the case might be when the minor has inherited money or assets, and there is no longer a parent who can make legal decisions on behalf of the child. In these cases, a guardian may be appointed by the court or chosen by the child’s family.
But how do you go about establishing a guardianship for a minor?
This article will explore the different types of guardianship for minors and how to become a guardian to a child.
Types of Guardianship For Minors
There are three different types of legal guardianship of a minor:
- Guardianship of the person
- Guardianship of the estate
- Guardianship ad litem
Let’s explore these three types of guardianship further.
Guardianship of the Person
An adult that has legal custody over a minor has the responsibility to provide for their needs. While the child’s parents need to provide financial support, the child’s legal guardian must feed, shelter, and clothe the child, ensuring they’re educated and have medical care when needed.
The legal guardian will be able to make decisions regarding the child’s health and education. The child will remain in the custody of the legal guardian until they are 18 or until a judge decides that the minor no longer requires the guardian.
Guardianship of the Estate
If a child has a large sum of money or property, then a court may make someone their financial guardian, also referred to as the guardian of the estate. The guardian of the estate will protect the child’s assets.
In addition to protecting the minor’s assets, the guardian of the estate will make all of the financial decisions on behalf of the minor until either the minor reaches legal age or until there are no assets left.
A guardian of an estate must always get the court’s approval before accessing any monies, selling properties, etc. Typically the minor’s assets are put into an account that cannot be accessed without a court order.
Guardian Ad Litem
When there is a legal proceeding involving a child, a court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the minor.
Guardians will typically be appointed in divorce cases and in matters of probate or where the child has been neglected or abused.
How to Establish a Guardianship of a Minor
The types of guardianship for minors are there to protect vulnerable children and their assets.
If you are looking into establishing a guardianship for a minor, a case must be filed with the county courts where the child has been living for six months or more. The court-ordered guardianship will last until the minor turns 18 years old. If the minor is still in high school, the guardian can request to continue the guardianship until they graduate.
Represent Yourself or Hire a Guardianship Lawyer?
There is much to consider when deciding to represent yourself or hire a guardianship lawyer. The NJ court system can be complicated and confusing.
If you decide to represent yourself, you must know that there will be a long list of requirements that you must fulfill. Calling the court staff to answer your questions may be of no help to you. The court staff cannot give you legal advice, cannot tell you whether your case needs to go to the courts, cannot provide opinions, cannot speak to the judge, cannot change an order issued by the judge, and will not allow you to speak to the judge outside of the court.
Because of these limitations, It is highly advisable that you hire an attorney, one who knows the different laws and rules that can govern your guardianship case. This lawyer will give you the proper legal advice in all the areas listed above. Choosing a guardianship attorney who will guide you through the entire process and represent you in your best interests can make a drastic difference in your case’s outcome.
Let Us Help You
For assistance with New Jersey guardianship of a minor’s cases, get in touch with Dalena & Bosch today.
Our team of lawyers is passionate about helping their clients to obtain guardianship of a minor. We understand that no two cases are alike. That is why we are committed to providing expert legal advice for all different guardianship for minors situations.