Haralson County Guardianship Lawyers
Experienced Guardianship and Estate Planning Lawyers Assist Clients in Murray County and Throughout Georgia
Where children are concerned, it’s a heart-rending situation when a child doesn’t have loving guardians and a stable home. What happens to a minor child who’s younger than 18 if both parents pass away (or if the parental rights of any living parent have been terminated by the court)? In Georgia, if the child has no natural guardian, testamentary guardian or permanent guardian, then a permanent guardianship authorizes a person to care for that minor child.
There’s a process you need to follow if you want to file a petition for guardianship of a child. First, you must file a petition (and pay initial filing fees) in the county where the child is located, or where you, as the proposed permanent guardian, reside. You’ll need to list three of the child’s nearest relatives on the petition. To qualify to be a permanent guardian of a minor, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or have proof of your permanent status in the United States.
You’ll also need a certified copy of the minor child’s birth certificate and copies of the parents’ death certificate, obituary or funeral program. For the petition to be considered, you must fill out the entire application.
Note: You can file one petition for more than one minor if they share the same mother and father. If the minors have different parents, you’ll need to file a petition for each minor and pay the required filing fees.
It’s a smart idea to talk with an experienced guardianship attorney before you choose a course of action to make sure you’re fully informed about your options. To learn more, contact the team at Steele Law Group for a consultation today, if you’re located in Haralson County or anywhere in Georgia.
Trusted Estate Planning Attorneys Help Clients Through the Guardianship of Minors Process in Murray County and Throughout Georgia
If a court staff clerk reviews your petition for guardianship and determines that you’ve submitted everything correctly, you’ll receive a hearing date. The clerk will also review whether a citation needs to be issued, and then prepare and publish and/or serve the notice. You’ll need to pay a fee if a citation is issued.
It’s important for you to know that if the minor has a living biological father, whether that parent hasn’t legitimized the minor and whose parental rights haven’t been surrendered or terminated, that parent is entitled to a notice of the guardianship petition. That parent also has the right to object to your guardianship petition and ask for a continuance to legitimate the minor child. If the parent legitimates the minor, your petition will be dismissed. However, if he fails to legitimize the minor, the biological father will have no further rights to get notice of the petition, or object to it.
During your guardianship petitioning process, the judge may decide to run a background check on you. You’ll appear in court before the judge to hear his or her decision, at which time Orders, Oath and Guardianship Letters are signed. Before you receive the letters, you must pay the balance of any court costs.
The guardianship process can be complex and difficult to navigate without a strong legal advocate in your corner. Our attorneys at Steele Law Firm are available to sit down with you and help you understand how the process works in Georgia. We can help guide you through the court process in a way that’s as easy and stress-free as possible for you and your family.
It’s also important to plan ahead to ensure that if you pass away, your child will be cared for by a trusted person of your choosing. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at Steele Law Firm for a consultation, if you’re located in Haralson County or throughout Georgia.
Call Steele Law Firm to Set Up a Consultation With an Experienced Georgia Guardianship Attorney Today
At Steele Law Firm, our attorneys with experience in guardianship of minor cases can help you through this process, walking you through the requirements step by step. We’ll start by talking with you to review all of your options and to see if guardianship is your best option. Plus, when it’s time, it makes sense to have an experienced attorney by your side who can guide you through court hearings and represent you in front of the judge. Put your family first and speak with an experienced guardianship attorney.
Steele Law Firm serves clients in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Fannin, Forsyth, North Fulton*, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk counties, as well as throughout the entire state of Georgia.