Colorado Guardianship Attorneys
In Colorado, guardianship is similar to adoption. However, unlike adoption, becoming a guardian does NOT sever the rights and responsibilities of the birth parents. Rather, it just means that a caregiver is responsible for the care and custody of the child.
A legal guardian has the same obligations a parent would normally have, including providing the child with emotional and financial support, proper schooling, and the basic necessities that a child needs to live (see C.R.S. 15-14-207). In contrast to an adoption, a guardianship often requires continued financial support from the parents to their child. In addition, should a child’s parents leave something of value behind when they die, the child maintains his or her right to inherit the parents’ estate.
What Power Does a Legal Guardian Have?
A guardian has the same powers as a parent regarding the child’s “support, care, education, health, and welfare” (see C.R.S. 15-14-208). For instance, a guardian may:
(a) apply for and receive money for the support of the child otherwise payable to the child’s parent;
(b) take custody of the child and establish the child’s place of custodial dwelling;
(c) commence a proceeding or take other appropriate action to compel a person to support the child;
(d) consent to medical care/treatment for the child;
(e) consent to the marriage of the child; and
(f) delegate to the child certain responsibilities for decisions affecting the child’s well-being.
Are you looking to become the legal guardian of a child, perhaps because the child’s birth parents are not carrying out their responsibilities? Or because you are acting as the de facto parent anyway? Having an attorney on your side will greatly facilitate the guardianship process, as it involves substantial paperwork and requires sensitive documentation, such as criminal background and credit reports. Further, it is common for one or both of the biological parents to contest the guardianship proceeding, and you may need legal representation to win the fight.
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