Oklahoma City Guardianship Attorney
Acting in the Best Interest of Oklahoma Children
When parents are unwilling or unable to care for their children, friends or relatives may be able to assume legal guardianship. To become a legal guardian, however, these caretakers must apply for guardianship in court – and the court must decide whether or not the guardianship is in the best interest of the child.
The state of Oklahoma outlines rules and responsibilities for Guardians and Wards in Title 30 of the Oklahoma statutes.
Guardianship may apply in a number of different circumstances, and Jarman Law Office can help you determine the merits of guardianship in your unique situation.
All you need to do is call us at (405) 221-9696 and tell us what you’re dealing with today.
Appointed Legal Guardians
Generally, courts only grant guardianship with the consent of parents. Most parents appoint one or more legal guardians for their children to plan ahead in case of illness, incarceration, incapacitation, or death. If you have been appointed as a legal guardian, the court may still examine your credentials.
- The children’s preferences
- Your relationship to the children
- Your capability to fulfill the responsibilities of guardianship
- Your moral character and conduct
- The amount of time you have to care for the children
- The resources you have to care for the children
Parents may write letters to the court to explain their choice of guardian and leave assets behind for their children’s care. Guardians are responsible for providing for the physical and personal needs of minors, making decisions regarding health and education, and managing any property or money the children have (via inheritance or some other means).
Appointed guardians must receive approval from the court system. They often have to go through both probate courts and family courts – luckily, our attorneys can help with all forms of civil litigation.
The Child’s Best Interests
Parents do not approve claims for guardianship in every situation. Sometimes, an individual or family may step in to care for children while their parents are incapacitated. In these contentious situations, the courts continue to act in the child’s best interest.
To win contested guardianship, you must prove to the court that removing children from their parents’ custody is in their best interest. This may be the case if the children are victims of abuse or neglect, the parents have problems with mental illness or substance use disorder, or in instances of child abandonment. Most of the time, you will need to prove that the parents are unfit in order to win legal guardianship. In some situations, Child Protective Services (CPS) or the court may terminate parental rights before guardianship takes place.
Even if children are in the custody of the court or the state of Oklahoma, you will still have to apply for guardianship. The court tends to prioritize relatives, so if you are not related to the children, you may want to speak to (and get approval from) their other family members first.
If you are related to the children, rest assured the court will consider your family ties. We often see grandparents take on guardianship of their grandchildren when parents are unfit to care for their children.
Guardianship is a serious undertaking, and courts do not remove children from their parents’ custody without serious cause.
If you are concerned about the children you are caring for, discuss your legal options with our Oklahoma City guardianship lawyer today.
Why Choose Jarman Law Office?
When you are dealing with circumstances as delicate as legal guardianship, you need a compassionate legal team that truly cares about your wellbeing. You will find this team at Jarman Law Office.
We treat every client who comes to us with personal attention and understanding. That being said, we are not afraid to fight for your rights and for the best interests of the children you care for.
Our legal team is available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Attorney Jarman has more than 15 years of legal experience, and our firm is ready to put it on your side.
Call us at (405) 221-9696 today or contact us online to get started with an initial consultation – if you believe the children you care for are in danger, do not hesitate to call 911 or report suspicions of abuse or neglect to the DHS Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.
We look forward to helping you secure and protect your family via guardianship.