Unexpected personal tragedies are not particularly common, but they do occur and they can dramatically change the course of a child’s life. Parents in the United States have a statutory right and responsibility to name a guardian for their child or children. If a guardian isn’t legally appointed by the parent, it becomes the responsibility of a judge to determine guardianship following the parents’ passing or incapacitation. In such instances, custody of the child may go to anyone chosen by the judge, regardless of what the parents would have wanted.
The guardianship of a child who is originally from another country can be even more complicated to manage. A child custody attorney can help citizens and non-citizens determine proper guardianship for children in the event of their incapacitation. Learn more about guardianship in Nevada below.
A general rule of thumb regarding guardianship in Nevada, or any state in the U.S., is that all parents have a fundamental and constitutional right to the care, custody, and control of their child. This essentially means that a parent has the right to make all decisions for their child without interference so long as they do not put the child in danger. This right was eventually extended to non-citizen parents that reside in the U.S. legally, allowing both citizen and non-citizen parents to name whomever they want as a guardian to their children—so long as they meet the state requirements.
It’s important to note that it is not only a parent’s right to choose a guardian but also their responsibility. This is the only way to keep the courts from determining guardianship of the child.
Children who legally reside in the U.S. as citizens but are native to another country may face further obstacles. Because it’s easier for a judge to oversee the safety and care of a child within their jurisdiction, it can be difficult to move a child to another country. To combat this, parents should be clear about who the child will live with and where (whether in the U.S. or not).
Parents of children with attachments to other countries should always apply for dual citizenship for the home country and the United States. This will prove to the court that the parents intended for their child to have connections to their home country and provide a basis for relatives living outside of the U.S. to request guardianship assistance from their own state department. Proving dual citizenship will help the process of expatriation and ensure the child is able to travel back to their home country.
It’s also possible that a non-citizen may be appointed as the guardian of a child. However, if the parents request for the child to remain in the U.S., there is no guarantee that the guardian will be allowed to stay in the U.S due to the guardianship alone. The person who is appointed as the child’s guardian will need to become a U.S. citizen through their own legal proceedings for this to be accepted.
It is possible for the law to interfere with a parent’s choice of guardianship under specific circumstances. A court may invoke the policies of “Best Interests” and protections made by the Hague Convention to retain custody of a child who would otherwise be sent to a country where they would be endangered or persecuted. While this is not very common when handling guardianship in Nevada, it is an issue that could possibly arise.
During interim periods between emigration, which can take months, a child may be stuck living in the U.S. before they can be united with their new full-time guardian. In these cases, a temporary guardian will also need to be nominated for the time being.
The child custody attorneys, Anderson, Dorn & Rader, are here to ensure the decisions you make regarding your child’s care are kept and seen through. If you need help legally determining guardianship in Nevada for your child, connect with us today.
Guardianship provides a legal solution for a person who has grown concerned that a loved one is physically or mentally sick and cannot make decisions on his own any more.
You do not want to watch your family member or friend make bad decisions because of dementia or lose his life savings because he is in a hospital with an end-stage illness and cannot manage his assets. Guardianship ensures that you don’t have to sit helplessly by in these or other situations where someone you care about needs your help.
If someone in your life cannot manage his own affairs, act of his own accord, or make reasoned decisions due to illness or injury, you may need to initiate guardianship proceedings to take control. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can help. Give us a call today to get answers to questions including:
Is guardianship necessary?
How does guardianship work?
How can a Reno, NV guardianship lawyer help me?
Is Guardianship Necessary?
Far too often, people are suddenly stricken by physical or mental illness. Sudden injuries also occur more than most people want to think about. A person who gets sick or hurt may be left unable to do things like decide where to live or make any choices on asset management.
Ideally, a plan will be in place before incapacity happens. A person who plans ahead can use a tool called power of attorney (POA) to name an agent who will take over decision-making for the POA-creator when illness or injury strikes.
Other tools can also be used to plan for incapacity, including advanced directives for healthcare. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. helps with the creation of a comprehensive incapacity plan.
If there is no plan, guardianship can become the only choice. With guardianship, an incapacitated person can no longer decide who should act for him. Instead, guardianship proceedings must be initiated so the court can give power to the guardian.
Guardianship can also be necessary outside of emergency situations, too. For example, all children under 18 need guardians because they don’t have the capacity to act. Unless parents pass away, are unfit, or give up up parental rights, parents are guardians until a child is 18 or is granted emancipation.
If a person is disabled all his life, parents can continue to be guardians even after the child is an adult. However, parents of the special-needs child will need to make appropriate provisions for a guardian after they are gone.
How Does Guardianship Work?
If you believe guardianship has become necessary, the first step to take is to talk with a Reno guardianship lawyer. Your attorney can assist you in determining if guardianship is appropriate under the circumstances. Your guardianship lawyer will also begin working to conduct an investigation, if necessary, to prove incapacity. Finally, your attorney can take care of filing papers with the court to ask the court to appoint a guardian.
When you ask the court to appoint a guardian for another person, you must prove several different things to the court.
You have to show a guardian is actually needed because the “ward’ (the person who needs the guardian), is in fact unable to act on his own. The court will determine competency and will provide the allegedly incapacitated person a chance to argue not to have a guardian appointed.
After the court makes a decision that a person is not competent, the court will next consider who should be a guardian. The court does not have to choose the person who initiated guardianship proceedings. The court should select the person believed to be the best choice for managing the affairs of the incapacitated person. Leaving this decision up to court control is another reason why making advanced incapacity plans is so important— you want to decide, not a random judge who does not know you.
After a guardian is appointed, the guardian can begin to exercise authority in order to determine what must be done to help the incapacitated person. There will be regular court oversight of the guardianship relationship to ensure that the guardian is fulfilling his role.
How can a Reno, NV Guardianship Lawyer Help Me?
Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can provide the help you need to address difficulty issues in your life, such as planning ahead in case of incapacity or responding in situations where someone you care about has become incapacitated and needs a guardian. Give us a call at 775-823-9455 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help you.
Understanding what a guardianship is, as well as what is required to establish one, can be extremely helpful in deciding whether or not a guardianship is necessary.
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