Guardians are court-appointed representatives for children without parents who can properly care for them. Guardianships can also be established for adults who are mentally or physically unable to look out for their personal and financial well-being. At Robinett | King in Bartlesville, we have extensive experience helping people get appointed as guardians to protect the interests of their loved ones. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or an incapacitated adult, we can represent you effectively throughout the legal process.
Oklahoma law recognizes three types of guardianships, which differ in the extent and duration of authority over the protected person, known as the ward. They are:
No matter the type or circumstances of the guardianship you are seeking to establish, our skilled family law attorneys can inform you about the legal requirements and responsibilities involved.
The Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act sets out detailed procedures and requirements for becoming a guardian.
A guardianship for a child — someone under age 18 — must be shown to be “necessary or convenient.” You begin by filing a petition in the probate court describing the reasons for a guardianship, such as the need to provide proper care for the child and/or to secure state aid in the child’s behalf. You will then go to a hearing where you will explain to a judge why you should be appointed. Multiple background checks and a home study will be conducted to determine if you are fit for the role.
In the case of an adult, the process is more complex, since a guardianship involves taking control of the ward’s property and limiting their personal freedom. Professional evaluations must show the extent to which the person is impaired by mental illness, physical illness or disability, substance dependency or another cause. The ward has the right to appear at a competency hearing, to bring witnesses and to have an attorney appointed. Your petition seeking guardianship must include the type and estimated value of the ward’s property holdings. As the prospective guardian, you will be subject to a background and fitness investigation, including checks for any criminal involvement.
Our attorneys are highly skilled in child and adult guardianship matters and can guide you through all steps of the appointment process.
Grandparents sometimes seek to become guardians or adoptive parents of their grandchildren. This requires proving to the court why it is in the grandchildren’s best interests. That same standard applies when grandparents seek visitation rights with grandchildren whose parents divorce. The courts generally assume that parents have the right to decide who their children will see, so if a parent is not allowing visitation with a grandparent, a court order may be required. We help grandparents stay part of their grandchildren’s lives. Whether you are seeking guardianship, adoption or visitation, we will take the legal action necessary to accomplish your goal.
At the law firm of Robinett | King in Bartlesville, we help Oklahoma residents establish guardianships for loved ones and advocate for the rights of grandparents. To schedule a consultation, call our firm at 918-336-4132 or contact us online.