Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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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.

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Guardianship Archives

First steps for Massachusetts guardianship of a minor

In an ideal world, all children would be taken care of by happy, healthy parents. Unfortunately, that is not the world that Massachusetts residents live in. Parents of minor children can reach a point where they are unable to care for their kids, either due to illness, substance abuse problems, or incarceration, among other reasons. When this happens, someone needs to step in to look out for the children. In many cases this is a family member or friend. However, to be able to legally make many decisions for children and properly care for them, these individuals may need to become the children's legal guardians.

Can a guardian for a special needs child be appointed by parent?

When it comes to your children, there is nothing you wouldn't do for them. Sometimes circumstances can render a parent unable to care for their child. Whether this is due to an inability to care for them due to health, or other personal issues, it is important to ensure your child is cared for. It is possible to plan for this scenario by appointing a guardian to take over for duties that a parent would typically endure.

Grandparents' rights are possible but not always clear-cut

The bond between grandchild and grandparent can be really special. Sometimes, grandparents even care for grandchildren in a way that is more parental. They may financially support them, care for their day-to-day needs and even discipline, when necessary. However, even if a grandparent is caring for a child and acting like a parent, they may not have any legal rights.

How is being a guardian different from being a parent?

There aren't many joys greater than the joy of being a parent. However, being a parent is a big responsibility and for one reason or another, some parents may not be able to complete their parental responsibilities. Oftentimes in these unfortunate situations, a guardian will step in to complete parental duties and to look after the minor. Massachusetts family court may find it in a child's best interest to appoint a guardian to their case, if one is able and willing.

Attain guardianship of the special needs child in your life

When it comes to seeking guardianship of a child, there is no exception to the particularway the process should be handled and approached. Special needs children have just that, extenuating circumstances surrounding their lives that need to be handled in a certain way. While all children need a high level of care and attention, special needs children require a little extra.

Grandparents may need to step in to care for grandkids

Sometimes, parents are not the best versions of themselves. This can lead to an unsafe living environment for children for a number of reasons. Grandparents, who love their grandkids very much, may feel that they are a child's best guardian, whether temporarily or long-term. Guardianship is a legal option that grandparents may opt for when seeking physical or legal custody of grandchildren.

Obtaining guardianship of a child in Massachusetts is possible

Every family's situation is different. Sometimes, despite a parent's best intentions, their parenting abilities are not up to par. This can happen for various reasons, but, regardless of why it happens, a family member or loved one often decides that they want to step in to gain guardianship of the minor in question. Guardianship is a legal term that grants legal custody of a child to a family member or relative.

What is different when seeking special needs guardianship?

All children are special. Some even more-so than others, in that they were born or developed certain mental or physical differences that may leave them needing extra care and attention to ensure their well-being. These children are what are considered children with special needs. If seeking guardianship of a child that fits this description in Massachusetts, there are a few things one must understand about the process that is specific to special needs children.

All about the process of guardianship of a minor in Mass.

Some children are left in a position where their parents are unable to care for them or make decisions on their behalf. In this situation, family member or friend of that child may decide it is in the child's best interests to seek guardianship of a minor. A guardian is a person who helps a minor make legal decisions that the child cannot otherwise make on his or her own. Guardians can help minors in other ways such as their day to day care or well-being.

Guardianship of a minor is a special role in Massachusetts

In some families, the parents of a minor child may not be equipped to continue to care for the child due to some challenge, be it legal, health related, or at worst, abuse related. In these difficult situations, a family member or close friend may need to step in and apply for guardianship.

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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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