Guardians are people who have taken the responsibility to raise and care for a minor who is not necessarily related to them directly. There are a lot of circumstances you could end up becoming a guardian. You could be a grandparent who needs to take in your grandchild after losing their parents. Or a close friend of a couple who is no longer in their child’s life. Whatever the case may be, you will have to make it official. That is where an affidavit of guardianship can come in handy.
An affidavit of guardianship is a written statement in which a person is declared as the official guardian of a minor. This statement is made legally binding by having the person sworn under oath or affirmation in front of the court and getting it notarized. With this a person is recognized by the law as the official caretaker of the minor until they are of legal age. An affidavit is often required for single parents, grandparents, elder siblings or family friends when they want to obtain child custody. This also serves as proof in case the person’s authorization is needed in regards to the legal needs of the child they have custody over.
According to a study by Statista the amount of successful custody taken by single parents tend to fluctuate as the years go by. Whether you are a single parent or otherwise making a well written affidavit of guardianship is vital in gaining full custody of your charge. This letter in essence is an agreement between you and the law that you will take good care of your charge like they were your own family member. Need some help in getting started? Continue reading to find out what you can do.
An affidavit is a legal document and will be used in court as proof that you are the legal guardian of your ward. So it is very important that what you write in there is the truth. Falsifying any information can cost you your legal guardianship and other legal troubles depending on the severity of what you have falsely claimed. Make sure your statements are all true to the best of your abilities. If you are not sure whether what you have written is the truth take some time to verify it if you are able. Doing this can save you from a lot of trouble in the later process.
Not only do you have to be truthful but you also have to be specific about the details as well. Avoid writing vague and general statements in your affidavit as that can cause complications upon submitting it to court. Include your full name and your job title in the required spaces. Fact check any statement you write to make sure that your affidavit does not have any false information.
This is the meat of the document. Write down why you are capable of taking care of the person you want custody of. To start you can write about your relationship with the person and what your source of income is. Write down all the responsibilities that are expected of you as a guardian. Once you are done, double check what you have written to make sure they are all factually correct and without any errors.
You can also write about your relationship with the person you are taking custody of. For example if you are a single adult seeking to take custody of your close friend’s child due to them being no longer in their life, then specify those details in the affidavit. Write how long you’ve known the person as well. Writing these will enable the court to see if you are a good fit to take custody of the child.
The length of time taken to obtain an affidavit of guardianship usually takes four months to be granted. But it usually depends on how well the court’s investigation of the guardian turns out to be. The court’s investigation is usually to see whether the guardian is well equipped to give their charge a stable home environment.
It is possible to assume guardianship of a minor. It can be done if the parents of said minor have filed a petition that declares a friend, grandparent or relative can be the guardian.
Along with other guardianship papers, these documents are generally permanent. It lasts as long as the guardian is legally capable and meets the requirements in taking care of their charge. It can be undone if said guardian is deceased or proven guilty of a crime against their charge.
There are two kinds, the full guardianship and the limited guardianship. As the name would suggest, a full guardianship means the person has full authority and responsibility over their charge’s legal affairs. Limited guardianship on the other hand means the person only has selected control over the needs of their charge.
Gaining guardianship can be a very challenging experience but do not let it intimidate you. As long as you are ready and willing to take care of your charge then doing this part of the process won’t be as hard as you think it is. As long as you follow the above mentioned steps then your goal of obtaining guardianship should go along smoothly in the end.