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Suffolk County Guardianship Law Lawyer

In Suffolk County and New York at large, guardianship cases are handled by the Surrogate Court, Family Court or the Supreme Court. This will depend on the specifics of the guardianship petition. Guardianship is the legal arrangement where the courts grant a legal guardianship right to the person filing the petition. The legal guardian can make decisions on behalf of a child, a person who is disabled or an incapacitated adult. The person who decisions are made for is referred to as a ward or a guardianee. The process of obtaining guardianship is governed by specific state and county laws. If you wish to file for guardianship in Suffolk County, a guardianship lawyer can be a great asset to your case.

Guardianship petition

A guardianship case begins after filing a petition. This petition is filed in the child’s county of residence. The case can be filed in the Family Court or Surrogate’s Court. The guardianship lawyer will guide you on where to file your case. Both these courts are mandated to appoint a guardian to a child. However, if the petitioner is seeking guardianship over property, then this is filed at the Surrogate’s Court. Once the petition is heard, the court will issue a letter of guardianship detailing the type of guardianship and the roles of the guardian.

Guardianship laws and consent

Guardianship over a child is given after consent of both parents if they are not mentally or developmentally disabled. A child over the age of 14 years must also consent to be put under guardianship. The child must be in a position to understand what will happen if they are put under legal guardianship. At this age, the courts will also consider any preferences that the child may have. There are cases when the court may still grant guardianship even if the parent or the child in question disagrees. This is why it is important to engage the services of a lawyer so that your issues are well articulated.

Guardianship can also be made in a will. If a guardian is appointed through a will, the legal guardian takes over once the parents die. The judge also needs to approve the guardian named in the will. There are also instances when a parent is sick and is not able to make decisions on behalf of a child. In such instances, the parent can suggest a “standby guardian”. This guardian can also be a guardian of the property. However, their active role only begins after the parent gives consent. The parent may issue conditions as to when the guardianship process will begin, say after death or critical illness. The courts can also appoint a standby guardian.

The Surrogate’s Court and the Family Court have guidelines and procedures that must be followed before guardianship is granted. If you are new to the process, you may find it tedious and lengthy. This is why you need to work with a guardianship lawyer. There is also lots of paperwork that needs to be filed. The courts will also look into you as a person before they can appoint you as a legal guardian over a child or an incapacitated adult. To make the process much smoother and faster, you should work with a lawyer. Lawyers understand the system and the procedures involved. Their participation in the process is crucial and productive.