- Kinship guardianship is the guardianship of the minor child by a family member/friend other than the mother or father who has primary care of the child.
- This may be necessary when a child's parents are unable to care for him or her because of abuse, neglect, abandonment or incapacity.
- We often encounter grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members who are caring for children in the absence of the parents.
- You do not have to be a blood relative to apply to be a kinship guardian.
- An adult may need a guardianship due to age, disease or injury that affects his or her ability to manage daily activities.
- Sometimes, the injury is so profound that there is little question that guardianship is appropriate, and the question may be who is the best person to act as guardian. This can cause conflict in some families.
- Other times, family members are seeking to protect a person who doesn't feel that he or she needs protection. It can be difficult for someone who has been through a traumatic event and injury, or who has a degenerative disease, to believe that protection is needed. However, it may be necessary to protect a person from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- A guardianship proceeding allows a judge to determine if a person is incapacitated, the extent of the incapacitation, what protections need to be put in place to ensure the incapacitated person's care and safety, and who is an appropriate guardian.
- A conservatorship proceeding allows a judge to appoint a conservator to manage the financial affairs of a vulnerable or incapacitated person.
- Guardianships and conservatorships can be done separately or at the same time.
- The court will choose the"least restrictive" means to make sure a vulnerable person is protected.