Establishing A Guardianship In Oklahoma
Sometimes the people we love need help caring for themselves, be it a minor child or an “incompetent” adult. This is when a guardianship can be created so that the person appointed as the guardian can provide care and make decisions for another (who is called the ward). A guardianship is a legal relationship created by the court. They are temporary in nature.
For minors, a guardianship is different from an adoption, in that parents still maintain legal rights to their children. However, a guardian will be responsible for the care of the child while the guardianship is in effect. A parent can consent to a guardianship if they feel they are unable to take care of a child, or a case where neglect or abuse is present, the state can appoint a guardian.
Types Of Guardianship
There are two types of guardianship that the court may establish, either separately or in conjunction with each other:
- Guardianship over the person is the authority to provide for a person’s medical care, living circumstances and other physical needs.
- Guardianship over the estate is the authority to manage a person’s financial affairs to that person’s benefit.
The law requires that guardians pass a background check so as to be certain that the guardian is acceptable to the court. Also, the law requires that guardians not benefit financially at the expense of those for whom they take care of and make decisions for. The court requires the guardian to file an annual report setting out the decisions made and/or money spent on behalf of the minor child or incompetent adult.
Petitioning To Be A Guardian
To be named the guardian of a minor, the person wanting to be guardian makes a request to the court to create the guardianship. The guardianship of a minor remains under court supervision until the child reaches age 18 (or sooner if the court finds reason to terminate the guardianship early). Oftentimes, after the natural parent has the chance to prove he/she has bettered himself/herself and are not in the same situation that led to the guardianship occurring, such guardianship may be terminated upon motion by the natural parent. A guardianship of a minor child takes away the natural parents’ right to make decisions about their child’s life. However, it does not permanently terminate parental rights.
A guardian can also be someone appointed to take care of an incompetent or incapable adult in order to take care of their affairs. This guardianship remains under court supervision until the ward becomes competent and able to take care of his/her affairs at which time the guardianship may terminate.
Contact Ricki M. Replin, P.C. Today
If you need help petitioning the court to become a guardian or are seeking to regain your parental rights, contact use to set up a consultation by calling 918-215-9986 or filling out our online contact form.