What is Guardianship of Minor?

When one or both parents of child are temporarily unable to care for them, another adult can be appointed as a Guardian. Guardianship does not terminate a parent’s rights forever. It is a legal process of allowing a family member or another person to take care and custody of a child. That person can legally act as a parent on behalf of a child. A permanent guardianship lasts until the child is eighteen OR until one of the parents is determined by the court to be fit to resume care of the child.

When would a parent be considered unfit or unable to care for their child?

A parent may be considered unfit or unable to care for a child for many reasons including abuse or neglect, substance abuse and mental illness. Guardianship is often used as an alternative having Department of Children and Families (DCF) take custody of the child(ren).

I want to seek Guardianship of a child. What can I do?

An individual can file a petition for Guardianship and ask the court to appoint them as guardian for child.

My child is subject of Guardianship and I want them back. What do I do?

A parent can request that Court remove the Guardian and that child returned. The parent must show that the circumstances which lead to Guardianship have changed. The Court will evaluate the fitness of parent. It is parent’s responsibility to show are stable, appropriate and fit to meet the child’s needs.

What can Attorney Ellis for me in Guardianship case?

Attorney Ellis at represent either to parent or to proposed guardian. If guardianship is effect, Attorney Ellis can represent either the parent seeking to have their child returned to them or the guardian who wishes to remain in that role. Attorney Ellis will explain to you in depth what your legal options are and how they apply to your case. Attorney Ellis will help you make important decisions about case and navigate the often confusing and frustrating legal process. She will assist you in obtaining the best result possible for your particular situation. Whether at a Motion Hearing on a particular issue or at full Trial on issues, Attorney Ellis will attempt to negotiate an agreement that works for you and serves the best interests your family. If agreement cannot reached she will zealously argue your position in front of Judge decision can made. She will available to answer your questions and concerns. She will deal with the other party or the other party’s attorney throughout court process don’t have to.

How much will a Guardianship cost me?

Attorney Ellis offers free consults where she will discuss your particular case and what it will cost. But generally Attorney Ellis will require a “retainer” to start the case. A retainer is a lump sum of money determined on a case by case basis. The retainer is held in a special client funds bank account. Funds are billed from the retainer for work that is completed on your case on a monthly basis. If the case is not completed before the retainer is exhausted, a second retainer is needed. Any money in the retainer that is not used at the completion of the case is returned to the client. The hourly rate and amount for the retainer will depend on the particular issues in the case but also depends on the number of contested issues, the complexity of issues, the contentiousness of parties and other factors. During a free consultation, Attorney Ellis will assess your case and discuss the retainer needed to start work on the case.

What if I cannot afford a large retainer but I still need help?

In certain circumstances Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) is available. LAR is new initiative in Probate in Family Court which allows party these hire attorney on limited basis to help with part or parts for case. The attorney and party negotiate are part or parts of case that party needs help with the cost will be. The attorney handles the part(s) the client wants them to and the client handles the rest. Often times a flat rate can each part. The rate will depend on particular issues in case but also depends on number of contested issues, the complexity of issues, the contentiousness parties, and that attorney’s responsibilities. During that free consultation, Attorney Ellis will assess your case and discuss LAR would available for you. For more information the LAR (click here).

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