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How does a temporary guardianship work?

This blog has, on previous occasions, talked about how those who have minor children in their lives who need immediate care can ask to be appointed as those children’s guardian.

Normally, the process of getting appointed as a child’s guardian takes a formal process which includes filing paperwork, notifying the children’s parents and setting a court hearing.

However, sometimes the needs of a minor child cannot wait even a few weeks or even days for the court process to work. For instance, the reason a Springfield, Massachusetts resident may be interested in a guardianship may be because the child in their lives has either been abandoned or is suffering from abuse.

In these cases, a concerned person can ask for what is called a temporary guardianship. The key difference between a temporary guardianship and a conventional guardianship is that the judge can enter an order appointing a guardian on little or even no prior notice.

However, the person asking for temporary guardianship must demonstrate that an emergency exists, which basically means that, unless a guardian gets appointed immediately, the child involved will be significantly harmed in some way.

As the name implies, a temporary guardianship generally lasts only for a finite and short period of time, about 90 days. It is possible for a person to extend the temporary guardianship for an additional 90 days.

Still, a temporary guardianship can be a real lifesaver for a child, as well as that child’s caregiver, as it can at least give the child some legal protection in an urgent situation. Securing a temporary guardianship can be a complicated process, however, which means that a person would be well advised to seek professional legal assistance.