Indiana Guardianship Attorney
When a child is in need of care, services, treatment, or assistance, sometimes the parents are unable or unwilling to provide the child with basic necessities. Oftentimes, good Samaritans such as other relatives will step in to help the child. Because these individuals are not the biological parents, they are unable to dictate how the child is to be raised or cared for. However, in certain limited circumstances, the court may award a non-parent with a guardianship or third-party custody, effectively giving this individual the legal power to oversee the child’s upbringing. The state of Indiana respects parental rights but intervenes when necessary. To determine if you are eligible to petition for third party custody or guardianship of a child in need, you need an experienced Indianapolis family law lawyer to guide you through understanding the law.
Eskew Law, LLC provides local Indiana families with support and legal support on petitions for custody or guardianship. A seasoned Indianapolis guardianship attorney at our firm can explain the legal provisions, evaluate whether you are eligible, discuss the best interests of the child, and advocate for your side in court. To learn more about the custody or guardianship process, contact Eskew Law, LCC today at (317) 974-0177 to schedule an appointment.
- Coordinating visitation schedules
- Paternity disputes
- Grandparents’ rights
- Third-party custody
- CHINS (Child in Need of Services) (Please note we are not focusing on this type of case right now.)
Guardianship and Third-Party Custody
Child custody involves the right both to make legal decisions involving the child’s upbringing and health and to have physical custody of the child. Child custody is a term reserved for parents. When a third party such as a grandparent or aunt wishes to have custody of a child, the proper term is guardianship. There are two main ways that a third party may become a guardian of a child:
- The child’s parents are deceased or
- The parents are unfit to care for the child
When a child’s parents are deceased, a guardian will usually be appointed through the probate process. Often times, close family members such as grandparents will petition to become guardians. If awarded custody, they are then allowed to make all legal decisions for the child. They become de facto parents because they raise the child in the absence of the biological parents. For additional information regarding this scenario, you may wish to speak with a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer at our Indianapolis law firm.
When a child’s parents are unfit, they are either unwilling or incapable of raising a child, such as through drug addiction or incapacitation. A third party, therefore, needs to step in to ensure the child’s needs are being met. In this situation, the third-party must present evidence that it is in the best interest of the child that the third party be appointed guardian. This is because the state of Indiana prefers that parents retain rights and custody of the child. However, because the child’s best interest is at the heart of the family law provisions, courts are willing to appoint guardians when it would be detrimental to the child’s mental or physical health to remain with their parents. In many situations, the parents are willing to relinquish their parental rights and cede guardianship to a third party because they know the child will be in better hands. Notwithstanding, it is ultimately the court’s discretion to award guardianship and third-party custody.
Compassionate Legal Advice and Advocacy on Guardianship and Third-Party Custody Petitions
If you are interested in become a guardian to a child in need, an Indianapolis guardianship attorney at Eskew Law, LLC can help you understand the intricacies of the process, gather evidence to support your petition, and advocate for your best interests in court. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. To schedule your consultation, call our office at (317) 974-0177 today or contact us online.