A guardianship is a legal arrangement that is required to see to all of the personal and business affairs of a person who is deemed unable to care for these affairs on their own. Most people associate a guardianship with a child, but the scope of who can benefit from a guardianship is not limited by age. While there are several complex elements to every guardianship arrangement, it is relatively easy to understand the basics of a guardianship relationship.

What Is A Guardian?

A guardian is someone either appointed or approved by the courts to take care of all legal aspects of a person's life such as habitation, medical care, and financial arrangements. The guardian assumes all responsibility for each decision they make on behalf of their constituent, and the guardian also assumes all penalties that may result from their decisions.

Who Needs A Guardian?

A person who utilizes a guardian is called a protected person. A protected person is anyone who is considered by the court to be unable to make important decisions on their own. Some of the reasons for requiring a guardian include the age of the protected person, their mental state, their physical condition, and their emotional health.

The Different Types Of Guardianship Arrangements

Full Guardianship - A full guardian is placed in charge of all of the protected person's legal, financial, and personal affairs. The full guardian can either be a single individual, a group, or a legal entity of some kind.

Limited Guardianship - If it is determined that the protected person only needs help with their financial affairs, then a limited guardian would be assigned to handle those types of transactions. The limited guardian can only make decisions in the areas where they have been given authority.

Temporary Guardianship - In some cases, the court may determine that a guardian is only need for a limited period. For example, when a person goes into a coma, then the courts may assign a temporary guardian if no other arrangements have been made to protect the person's interests. Once the guardianship period is over, the guardian no longer has legal authority to make decisions for the protected person.

Joint Guardianship - When it is determined that a protected person requires the assistance of more than one guardian, then joint guardianship will be assigned to two or more people.

What Is The Liability Level For A Guardian?

A guardian is not held personally responsible for actions taken by a protected person that do not involve the guardian's responsibilities. For example, a guardian would not be held responsible if their protected person broke an expensive picture window. A guardian is not required to use their own funds to care for the protected person, unless the guardian has agreed to fund the protected person in the guardianship agreement.

The guardian is required to take all reasonable steps to insure the health and safety of the protect person. The guardian is also expected to make reasonable decisions on behalf of the protected person, which means that the guardian can be found negligent for making improper decisions on behalf of the protected person.

A guardianship arrangement is a tremendous responsibility that affects the lives of many people. When making a guardianship decision, the courts require a great deal of information and work hard to make the best decision possible on behalf of the protected person.

Divorce and child custody proceedings can be devastating to everyone involved. Two people do not start a family with the intention of having that family fall apart, but it does happen and the results can be tragic. What can make a family court situation even more tragic is if you do not seek out professional legal counsel from the very beginning of the proceedings. Too many people have misconceptions about the family court process that can cause problems for them now, and in the future.

I Can Just File The Motions Myself

In the state of New York, there is this prevailing opinion among people that will need to use the family court system that they can just file some paperwork, pay a couple of filing fees, and then be done with the process. Truth be told, that is how the entire court system works. But would you really want to file your own paperwork if you were accused of a felony crime?

While a family court case is filled with emotion, you still need to protect your rights to make sure that you are treated fairly. A qualified attorney will walk you through the entire process and make sure that your side is heard. Without an attorney, your divorce or child custody process could turn out in a way that is contrary to what you wanted.

Why Do I Need An Attorney For This?

Some of the decisions made by a family court are based on defined computations and guidelines, while others are judgment calls. When the courts make a decision on judgment calls, they do so with the information that has been presented to them. If you have no idea how to file a compelling argument as to why you should have custody of your children, then you will have a difficult time convincing the courts that your cause is a just one.

A divorce can seem equally as simple to file, but the end result can be difficult to predict if you do not have legal representation. You need an attorney for family court issues because these are issues that affect you personally and have strong emotional value. If you want your voice to be heard in family court, then you need to have an attorney speaking for you.

Doesn't The State Provide An Attorney?

In some cases, the state or county you are filing your motion in will provide you with an attorney from their stable of public defenders. These are hard-working people who do what they can for their clients, but they lack the time or staffing to focus on your specific needs. If you want to get the right legal advice for your family court proceeding, then you need to hire an attorney who is working for you directly, and has your interests in mind.

When it comes to a family matter, emotions can run high. Anger can often take the place of rational thinking, and sometimes bad decisions are made. When you have an attorney working for you on your family court matter, you can eliminate those bad decisions by having a professional take care of your side of the proceeding, and make sure that your interests are protected.

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