St Louis Guardianship Lawyer
Many people in St. Louis are unable to care for their own needs. For example, children without parents, elderly people, and adults with disabilities can benefit greatly from the care of a guardian.
Court-appointed guardians can help protect vulnerable individuals and make important decisions in their best interest on their behalf. In other words, a guardian assumes full legal control over a person’s life.
A St. Louis guardianship lawyer can help explain the purpose of these legal relationships and take the necessary steps to convince a family law judge of your qualifications to be someone’s guardian. Let an experienced ally from our family law team help you build a strong case for guardianship before going to court.
Providing Children with a Safe and Nurturing Environment
When a child’s biological parents are no longer able to care for them as a result of death, mental health, incapacity, drug addiction, or incarceration, the child could enter the foster care system.
When this happens, another party may petition the Court to assume guardianship over the child, according to Missouri Revised Statutes §475.060. This petition must contain essential pieces of information, including:
- The name, age, and address of the child
- Information concerning the identity of the child’s parents
- Who currently has custody of the child
- The name and address of any guardian of the child’s estate
- The petitioner’s motivation for becoming the child’s guardian
In order for the Court to grant a petition for Guardianship, the biological parents may consent, or the Petitioner must prove that one or both of the biological custodians are unable, unwilling, or unfit. If the Court grants the petition for guardianship, the Guardian would have full legal authority over the child as well as an obligation to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, a guardian can make decisions concerning the child’s education, activities, religious upbringing, and more. A St. Louis attorney can help those who are looking to become the guardian of a child meet these important requirements imposed by the Court.
As a general rule, adults retain control over their own affairs as long as they are of a stable mind. However, local courts do have the power to evaluate the mental capacities of potentially disabled individuals for the purpose of appointing guardians. Adults who are unable to make decisions to promote their own wellbeing may benefit from a guardian.
There is a strict hierarchy of who may become the guardian of an adult. Under MO Rev Stat §475.050, if the subject of the guardianship is able to clearly communicate their wishes, their nominated guardian takes precedence over other potential candidates. Additionally, any person with a durable power of attorney can claim this role. Finally, any adult relative of the person may take guardianship responsibilities.
MO Rev Stat §475.075 states that the Court can appoint a physician, psychologist, or another medical professional to determine a person’s mental capacity. Testimonies from medical experts can be used as evidence in a guardianship hearing.
The petitioner for guardianship is responsible for proving that the subject has a disability and may employ their own experts to provide testimonies about the extent of their mental incapacity. The Court will require an expert to certify that the individual is unable to make their own decisions. A lawyer in St. Louis could provide more information about the legal processes associated with obtaining guardianship over an adult.
Contact a St. Louis Guardianship Attorney Today
Children who have lost their biological parents or adults who have suffered injuries or illnesses that affect their mental processes may be unable to care for their own needs. In either case, St. Louis law allows you to file for guardianship over a vulnerable person.
You must be able to demonstrate an ability to serve in the role, your status as a family member or power of attorney, and the extent of the subject’s disability. A St. Louis guardianship lawyer from our firm can help. Contact our team today to learn more about how to obtain guardianship in St. Louis.