There are a myriad of scenarios where grandparents may be awarded full custody of their grandchildren. These instances may range from termination of parental rights to the unfortunate event of the death of the parents. Guardianship can be obtained by grandparents under several circumstances and may also be permanent in some cases. If you are a grandparent residing in Miami looking for legal guardianship of your grandchildren, you need one of Miami’s well-respected and experienced custody lawyers on your side. Arturo R. Alfonso P.A is a family law attorney who cares for each case with professionalism and sensitivity. Working with an attorney like him who’s privy to handling such cases can give you the step-by-step guidance you need. Here are some outlined aspects of legal guardianship that would be important to know beforehand.
Duration of Guardianship
In the event of the death of parents, the grandparents can be assigned full guardianship of their grandchildren up until they become of age. When the children reach 18 years of age, it marks the end of guardianship. In short, guardianship is only applicable to children who are under the age of 18. However, under several circumstances like financial or medical reasons, guardianship may be extended.
What Are Your Responsibilities as a Guardian?
Grandparents seeking to obtain legal guardianship should have their family attorney explain the responsibilities that come with legal guardianship. For example, when granted guardianship of a child, you should immediately assume the role of managing their financial needs. If grandparents are entrusted with full permanent guardianship, it is important to understand that they will have to cater to the grandchildren’s expenses out of pocket. But in most cases where the biological parents are still living, they will be required by the court of law to pay child support to grandparents who have been granted legal guardianship. Grandparents are given the authority and responsibility to handle their grandchildren’s education and medical requirements when they obtain legal guardianship. With legal guardianship, grandparents can also apply for social security or even file lawsuits on behalf of their grandchildren.
Guardianship legally given to grandparents does not automatically remove the parents’ rights to visit or see their children. These parental rights remain intact and can only be terminated by the court. The grandparents, through the family attorney or court, have powers to limit the parental interactions. Another important aspect is that the court wills the power to terminate the guardianship arrangement at any time it deems important to do so. Parents can also initiate the termination of the guardianship arrangement if it was voluntary.
If you are contemplating seeking legal guardianship of your grandchildren in the state of Miami, it’s crucial that you hire a well-qualified family attorney. Having competent and experienced legal assistance from custody lawyers can help you have a better chance of securing guardianship. Contact my law office today to get started with a free and confidential case evaluation.