Guardianship

Jefferson City Guardianship Lawyers/Attorneys

 

Guardianship is the process for obtaining legal authority to exercise care and custody of a minor child or an incapacitated person. Guardianship may be sought by adult children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members. There are any number of different reasons why a person may seek guardianship. Grandparents may seek guardianship of their grandchild or grandchildren where the parents lack the physical and financial ability to care for the child. In these situations, it may not be that the parents are unwilling to fulfill their functions as parents, but that the parents are simply unable to care for the child. Parents may also suffer from illnesses or diseases which prevent them from caring for their minor children which necessitate guardianship. Guardianship is also sought for adult children who suffer from disabilities such as autism, multiple sclerosis, or mental health issues which prevent the adult child from caring for him or herself. Guardianship may also be sought by adult children for their dad or mom. This type of guardianship may be sought because of physical and mental conditions accompany old age such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental and physical health issues. In such circumstances, the adult children are requesting guardianship for their mother or father. Guardianships are often times emotionally difficult because of the family relationships involved.

 

The term “guardian” includes a regular guardian, a limited guardian and a standby guardian. In order to obtain guardianship, a petition must be filed with the court. The court will conduct a hearing to determine whether guardianship is appropriate, and if so, the type of guardianship. Evidence must be presented at the court hearing in support of the guardianship. “If the court finds that the respondent possesses the capacity to meet his or her essential requirements for food, clothing, shelter, safety and other care or that he or she possesses the ability to manage his or her financial resources, the court will  deny the petition. On the other hand, if the court finds that the capacity of the respondent to receive and evaluate information or to communicate decisions is impaired to such an extent as to render him or her incapable of meeting some or all of his or her essential requirements for food, clothing, shelter, safety or other care so that serious physical injury, illness, or disease is likely to occur, or that the ability of the respondent to receive and evaluate information or to communicate decisions is impaired to such an extent so as to render him or her unable to manage some or all of his financial resources, it shall make and recite in its order detailed findings of fact.” Section 475.075 RSMo.

 

“If the court finds the respondent to be in some degree incapacitated or disabled, or both, the court, in determining the degree of supervision necessary, shall apply the least restrictive environment principle as defined in this chapter and shall not restrict his personal liberty or his freedom to manage his financial resources to any greater extent than is necessary to protect his person and his financial resources. The court shall consider whether or not the respondent may be fully protected by the rendition of temporary protective services provided by a private or public agency or agencies; or by the appointment of a guardian or conservator ad litem; or by the appointment of a limited guardian or conservator; or, as a last resort, by the appointment of a guardian or conservator.” Section 475.075 RSMo.

 

Guardianships are either contested or uncontested. A contested guardianship may occur in a situation where grandparents have filed for guardianship for their grandchild and one or both parents disagree with the appointment. For example, one or both parents may disagree that a guardianship is necessary and disagree about the children living with the proposed guardian. Conversely, an uncontested guardianship is a process where both parents are in complete agreement with the guardianship and who will be serving as the guardian.

 

The Petition for guardianship must contain certain information required by Missouri law. The court will usually appoint an attorney to represent the proposed guardian. A court will then conduct a hearing. The length of the hearing and the amount of evidence to be adduced will depend on whether the guardianship is contested or uncontested.

 

Our lawyers and attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City have a represented numerous individuals and families in connection with a guardianship. We understand that the circumstances and environment surrounding guardianship issues are emotional and frustrating often causing stress and worry. For example, it is difficult to be in the position to tell your mother or father that she or he can no longer drive and it becomes more difficult in dealing with the resentment associated in removing the car.

 

Our experienced lawyers and attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City regularly practice in high conflict legal matters and have a reputation for aggressive and tenacious representation. Our lawyers also recognize that trial and litigation is not necessarily the goal of every client and that the best resolution may be a compromise settlement as opposed to trial. Our lawyers and attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City have a reputation for excellence, thorough preparation and innovation. Our experienced lawyers have been invited to lecture at various speaking engagements sponsored by the Missouri Bar and other community organizations. At Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City, our attorneys have the experience you need to vigorously represent you in contested trials. Our attorneys and lawyers have diverse experience and complimentary talents to provide you attentive, efficient service. From our offices in Jefferson City, our attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. represent clients throughout Mid-Missouri including:  Jefferson City, Columbia, Eldon, Linn, Fulton, Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Camdenton, Versailles, Boonville, Mexico, Sedalia, Hermann, Rolla, Vienna, Waynesville, Montgomery City, as well as the counties of Boone, Cole, Callaway, Cooper, Maries, Miller, Morgan, Moniteau, Osage, Camden, Gasconade, Audrain, Phelps, Pulaski, Montgomery, and others.

 

Please contact Dean Cooper or Scott Hamblin to discuss issues related to guardianships and conservatorships.