Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

Are you currently considering a divorce?
Schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options.

Who Can File a Petition for Guardianship in NY? │ Heidi Opinsky Law

Specific Individuals Can Apply to Take Responsibility for a Child

Guardianship is required for those individuals who are unable to make proper decisions for themselves. Older adults, incapacitated adults, and children all need guardians to help them live comfortably. According to statistics, approximately 81% of guardians are family members, 11% are public guardians, and only 3% are friends. The remaining 5% are nonprofit organizations as well as financial institutions. (1)

When it comes to the guardianship of a child, the court will appoint this status once the application is approved. A guardian has both authority and responsibility over a minor child. Once a guardian is appointed, it becomes their responsibility to ensure they are taking care of the child’s basic needs and making important decisions for them as well. Guardianship may be planned for the future if a parent fears they will be unable to take care of their child due to an illness or other serious reason.

Who is Eligible to File for Guardianship of a Child in NY?

If you fear that the parents will be unable to care for their children properly, you can request the court to grant your guardianship. If the parent dies, abandons, or neglects the child, is abroad, was deported, or is too sick to take care of the child then the court may deem that the child needs another legal guardian.

If you wish to be the guardian of a child, you may be eligible to file an application if you are:

  • An adult relative at least 18 years old
  • An adult family friend at least 18 years old
  • A child protective agency

You should make sure you speak with a family law attorney before filing your application. In most cases, the application for the guardianship of a minor will be filed with the Family Court. Once the application is accepted, you will have to appear for a guardianship hearing.

What Happens in a Family Court Guardianship Hearing?

In a family court guardianship hearing, the court will take your testimony and see whether you are an excellent fit to take care of the child and if their best interests will be prioritized once you become their guardian. If the child is older and over 14 years old, then the court may consider their preference as well before making a final decision.

What Documents Are Required for a Guardianship Petition?

When applying for guardianship, you should make sure to have the following documents on hand:

  • The birth certificate of the child
  • The death certificates of the parents (if applicable)
  • The relevant forms filled out and signed
  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of residence

It can be confusing to figure out which forms need to be filled out and how to fill them out properly, for that reason, you should make sure you speak with a qualified attorney before proceeding with your petition.

Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney in NY Today

Applying for the guardianship of a child is a very sensitive and delicate process. You should make sure you are getting proper legal assistance with the process so you do not end up making mistakes that could delay your guardianship, or even have your application denied.

Contact family lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get professional legal help with your guardianship petition.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible.