Guardianships & Adoption
Sometimes, in order to help others, you have to ask others to help you. Nowhere is this more true than in the family law context.
The hoops New Jerseyans are required to jump through in order to adopt a child or obtain guardianship over a loved one are not easy to navigate on your own. The Dalena & Bosch team is honored that so many people trust us to guide them through these challenging tasks.
When a loved one over the age of 18 cannot manage his or her own care or financial affairs, it may be necessary to seek legal guardianship over them. As your loved one’s legal guardian, you can make decisions and take action on his or her behalf.
New Jersey Law
Under New Jersey law, anyone over the age of 18 may be declared incapacitated and placed under the legal guardianship of another if there is evidence showing he or she cannot manage his or her own care or financial affairs. These incapacitated individuals may be impaired by mental illness or deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic alcoholism, a developmental disability, or other causes.
Around 2,000 New Jersey residents are placed under guardianship each year. Some guardianships last just a few months, while others can last decades. People recovering from a medical emergency or fighting addiction may progress to the point that a legal guardian is no longer required. Elderly citizens suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or other debilitating conditions may need a guardian for the rest of their lives. Guardianships for developmentally disabled young adults can last for decades.
The judicial system takes great care to ensure that the guardianship process is not abused. The courts determine whether a guardianship is appropriate and how long it should last. Each potential ward is appointed legal counsel. That attorney’s job is to investigate what is in a potential ward’s best interest and to advocate on his or her behalf.
Our firm typically gets involved in these cases on behalf of family members who want to seek guardianship, but we have also opposed guardianship actions by people our clients did not believe were acting in the best interest of their loved ones.
Whether we are supporting or opposing a request for guardianship, our job is the same. We gather medical evidence, including affidavits from physicians; financial records; and other evidence that supports or rebuts a guardianship request. We advocate for our client and attempt to persuade the court that our client has the best interests of their loved one at heart.
When you are ready to expand your family through adoption, the Dalena & Bosch team is ready to help. We appreciate how challenging it can be to patiently wait for a legal process to play out when you are eager to start a family; so we do our best to make the legal side of the adoption process go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Our team has experience advising clients in Morris County and beyond on open and closed private adoptions, single parent adoption, stepparent adoption, grandparet or relative adoption, international adoption, and same sex or LGBTQ+ adoption. We know every family is unique, so we do our best to ensure the adoption process fits your lifestyle, not the other way around.
Clients rely on us to help them fill out the mountains of required paperwork and to advocate on their behalf in the courts. We have also helped families prepare for interviews with adoption agencies and in-home visits by investigators. Our years of experience allow us to identify potential red flags and craft a plan to minimize or mitigate problems before they arise.
If you are the parent relinquishing your rights, we can assist you as well. We are compassionate counselors who can protect you and your child from being taken advantage of.
The attorneys on our team are experienced litigators who will fight to protect your interests. We are not afraid to take on challenging cases, such as complex litigation that involves high net worth assets or bitter custody disputes.
Holding Your Hand When You Need It Most
At Dalena & Bosch, we guide and support our clients before, during, and after the most challenging times of their lives, which is why our firm’s motto is “Holding your hand when you need it most.” When you are trying to help someone, but what you really need is someone to help you, we are here for you. We will listen to you, support you, and advocate for you and your family as you journey through the guardianship or adoption process.
Our experienced team of attorneys is ready to help guide you through the maze that is New Jersey’s family law system. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.