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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Things to know before appointing a guardian in Massachusetts

Massachusetts guardianship laws allow biological parents or respondents to give legal custody of a child to either a family member or the third party. Guardianship is similar to adoption in that it provides a minor child with an adult to provide care. Unlike adoption, which is permanent, guardianship can be temporary or permanent. When a court appoints a guardian for a child, the personal welfare, education, housing, medical and education decisions become the responsibility of the guardian.

If, for whatever reason, a parent is unable to care for a child temporarily, another relative can step in to assume responsibility for the child as a temporary legal guardian. Since guardianship laws are a little tricky, parents should consider consulting a legal expert for advice on how to proceed before filing a guardianship request. Usually, a family member is appointed a guardian by the court. However, if parents think no family members is suitable, a third party can be appointed by the court.

Furthermore, some significant changes to enhance the protection features were made to the Massachusetts guardianship law in July 2009. Even though guardians are legally responsible for taking care of the child, parents still retain some rights. Specific rules that work in the best interests of the child are required to be followed and in most cases, granting guardianship is meant to be a stopgap measure to insure that best interests of the child are maintained.

In such cases, a professional attorney is sure to provide vital information pertaining to the changes in the guardianship laws and other necessary suggestions to avoid any problems with granting or obtaining guardianship. Our firm understands the complexities of these types of cases. Our attorneys can help those seeking more information about guardianship in Massachusetts.

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Springfield, MA 01103
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Phone: 413-315-5518
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Monson, MA 01057
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