Grandparents, relatives, or other caretakers can acquire the legal right to custody and the right to make certain decisions for a child through a legal guardianship of a minor. In New Hampshire, this process takes place in the Family Court. In Nashua, we have our own Family Court to handle this.
Do the parents have to agree?
No. A legal guardianship can be granted with the consent of the parents. However, if the parents are incapable or unfit as determined by the Court, a guardianship may be granted over the parent’s objection. There are many reasons a parent cannot take care of his or her child. There may be criminal issues, drug-related issues, military deployment, illness, or abuse and neglect allegations. If the Division of Child, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is involved, then they may request a guardianship be put in place.
What does having guardianship mean?
Being named the legal guardian for a minor child gives a person the ability to make important decision for the child like school enrollment and medical treatment. The legal guardian also typically has custody of the minor child or determines where and with whom the child is living.
Guardianships can be used by grandparents or step parents to place children on their health insurance. If a specific school district is desired, a guardianship may be needed to get the child enrolled in that school. To learn more about guardianships or about our firm, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at Morneaulaw you can also follow our blog at www.Morneaulaw.com
If you think you may need a guardianship over a minor child or have more questions about the process, please feel free to call us today at (603) 943-5647 to set up an initial consultation over the phone or in our Nashua office. You will leave with an action plan on how to move forward.