Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
Local 413-315-5518
Toll Free 877-622-6089

Family Law Attorney

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

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Guardianship Archives

What are the responsibilities for a guardian of a minor?

Taking care of each other is one of our most basic human principles. So when a family member or friend is unable to care for their child, whether permanently or temporarily, a guardian is a person who could step in and care for the minor until they reach the age of adulthood. The decision to become someone's guardian shouldn't be made lightly, though. Instead, interested individuals need to have a solid understanding of duties and responsibilities of a guardian before taking legal action to create that relationship.

The right approach to guardianship issues in Massachusetts

Any parent could tell our readers just how tough it can be sometimes to raise a child. However, sometimes it is the parent who is going through tough times and, as a result, the child is the one who needs help. In some cases, that means that a guardian must be appointed to care for the child, even if it is on a temporary basis. In these situations, all parties involved will need to make sure that they are taking the right approach to attain what is best for the child.

Removing a guardian in Massachusetts

Many people in Massachusetts regard a guardianship as permanent until the child reaches the age of 18, the age at which the guardianship automatically terminates. However, even though most guardianships provide significant benefits for both the parents and the ward, unexpected events can throw the ward, the guardian or the parents off track before the guardianship terminates. In such circumstances, terminating the guardianship may be the only effective recourse.

Guardianships and adoptions -- what's the difference?

Many residents of Massachusetts have considered the possibility of becoming a guardian for a minor child or adopting a minor child. Each set of potential parents has its own expectations and wishes about how this addition to their family will affect them. One of the first tasks is to understand the legal differences between an adoption and a guardianship.

Guardianship and government benefits

Many children, particularly special needs children, are eligible for a variety of government benefits at both the state and federal levels. For several reasons, these young residents of Massachusetts may need to have another adult, aside from their parents, take responsibility over them and give them the care and support they need. Sometimes a grandparent or other relative can work toward setting up a guardianship through the Massachusetts courts in order to get legal authority to have custody over a minor child and handle that child's financial affairs.

What is the difference between adoption and guardianship?

This blog has previously discussed various aspects about guardianship over minor children in Massachusetts. Basically, a guardianship gives a child's loved ones the opportunity to step in and take over parental responsibilities when a parent is unwilling or unable to do so.

More children are being raised by grandparents

Recent statistics suggest that more and more grandparents, in Massachusetts and elsewhere, are involved in raising their minor grandchildren until they reach adulthood. According to Census statistics, a little over 1 in 20 homes had a grandchild living with at least one of their grandparents. This is double the number of children living with grandparents in 1970. Of these households, 60 percent actually had the grandparents, or one of them, as the responsible adult in the home.

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
1380 Main Street, Suite 302
Springfield, MA 01103

Toll Free: 877-622-6089
Phone: 413-315-5518
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