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Custody versus guardianship

Whether a family member is a minor, or an adult who is elderly, there sometimes comes a question of who will become responsible for this individual if their parents’ divorce, or their caregivers pass away.

When this occurs, those involved must consider whether the individual needs a guardian appointed, or someone needs to take legal custody over them given their needs and/or disabilities.

Custody usually involves the care and protection of a minor.

Having custody over another involves a person of authority taking direct charge over that individual. In the context of a divorce or separation, a parent typically takes custody of a child or children.

When a parent is granted sole custody of a child, he or she is then responsible for that child’s physical and mental health, and has the authority and obligation to make decisions that are in that minor’s best interests.

Parents with legal custody will likely make the majority of educational and financial choices for that child.

Alternatively, guardianship may apply to both a minor, or an adult, with developmental disabilities or mental illness who cannot make decisions and/or care for themselves on their own.

Those under guardianship may be “warded” by a relative or family friend who must be legally named a guardian in a court of law.

The guardian may have control of the ward’s person or property, depending on the ward’s needs.

In all events, the courts will act in the best interest of the child or disabled adult to determine who shall be appointed guardian or be awarded custody.

If you have questions regarding custody or guardianship, contact Bashian P.C.

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