Guardianship and Adoption and Family Law Matters

parent holding child in sunset as example of adoption guardianship

Guardianship is when you establish a legal relationship for your child with an adult who is not the biological parent giving the person rights to make legal decisions on behalf of our child when you are not able to do so or pass away. If you are divorced and a single parent and the other parent has passed away or abandoned the child, or the other parents is now physically or mentally incapable of taking care of the child should something happen to you, you may want to establish a guardianship for your minor children with a family member or friend whom you trust.

A guardianship of the person is when the guardian takes care of the child’s day-to-day living needs including educational and health needs. A guardianship of the property is when the guardian manages the finances and property of the child. A guardian can be both guardian of the person and the property. The New York Family Court has the jurisdiction to establish guardianship as well as the New York Surrogate’s Court.

Adoption is permanent and gives you the same rights and obligations as the biological parent. The child’s biological parents must give up their rights to the child before you and your spouse or you individually as a single parent can legally adopt a child. A parent who adopts is seen as the both the legal guardian and legal parent of a child. This includes financial support obligations regarding the child. If you and your spouse decide to divorce later after adopting a child, then either or both can seek custody of the child. The non-custodial parent is also entitled to seek visitation of the adopted child and may be obligated to pay the custodial parent child support.Guardianship, adoption and divorce are all complex family law matters that usually require the assistance of a New York family law attorney. If you are involved in a guardianship, adoption or family law matter, it is also a good idea to educate yourself about these matters so you have an idea of what is involved and how to protect your legal rights.