Las Vegas courts sometimes appoint guardians to oversee and care for minor children for various reasons. A guardian is an adult who is responsible for caring for the child’s needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education. They are required to maintain the child’s well-being for as long as the court prescribes. Essentially, they are awarded temporary child custody in Las Vegas until such point that the biological or adoptive parents are able to resume their parenting roles, and/or have satisfied the court’s requirements to have the child return to their custody.

Guardians may also be asked to manage a child’s finances, like if they receive an inheritance from a relative or have a substantial amount of money in a savings account. In cases where an inheritance is received, the child’s parents might be appointed guardians to oversee the management and care of the inheritance, until the child reaches the age of majority (18, in most states). By appointing the parents guardians of an inheritance, it protects the child’s interests and prevents the parents from squandering the money away so it is gone by the time the child turns 18.

What Rights Does a Guardian Have over a Child?

A guardian has certain legal rights appointed to them by a court of law in Las Vegas. Part of these legal obligations is being responsible for the care of the minor child. While a child is in the custody of a guardian, they are responsible for the child’s day-to-day care, as well as addressing the child’s immediate needs. A guardianship does not replace the parental rights of the parents and their responsibilities. Rather, both the guardianship and parental rights co-exist with each other.

Who Can Be Appointed as a Guardian?

Guardians are typically relatives or close family friends who already have a pre-existing relationship with the child and their parents. However, in some court proceedings, the court may appoint a guardian who does not have a former relationship with the child or the family. This is common in situations where friends or relatives decline to be the guardian, there are no living relatives, or the court deems placing the child with a relative or friend of the family would not be in the child’s best interests. As previously mentioned, parents are sometimes appointed guardians, too, for inheritance purposes.

How to File for Guardianship over a Child

Filing for a guardianship is a legal proceeding. There are specific forms the parents must sign to give another person guardianship over their child. If the parents consent to the process, the court proceedings are easier. If the guardianship is only short term and temporary, it is not always necessary to appear in front of a judge. Rather, a family lawyer in Las Vegas can provide assistance with the process and paperwork.

In situations where the guardianship is going to be longer than six months, the case must be presented in front of a judge and a court order obtained. The length of the guardianship does vary from one case to another. It is possible you could become the legal guardian of a minor child, and remain so, until they turn 18.

If the parents object to the guardianship, it can become more complicated and often requires retaining the services of a family law attorney in Las Vegas. The court will let the parents make a case for their objections. It is entirely up to the court, however, after listening to the parents and the person seeking guardianship, to make the final determination.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment to discuss guardianship in Las Vegas, contact McFarling Law Group today at 702-565-4335.