If you know someone in need of care and support, you may opt to request guardianship in Arizona. According to state law, any non-parent resident who’s concerned for the welfare of a minor can petition the court to be appointed a guardian under Title 14. Along with holding legal custody of the individual in question, the guardian will be able to make decisions about medical care, education, and other aspects of the individual’s life.
Additionally, courts may appoint guardians to individuals over the age of 18 who are deemed incapacitated; however, this process is typically more involved. Keep reading to learn about the different reasons that someone may opt to petition the court for guardianship in the state of Arizona.
Why Petition for Guardianship?
There are various reasons that someone may feel compelled to petition to be a guardian. Here are some of the most common reasons to apply for guardianship of a minor child or an adult:
1. To Care for a Child Whose Parents Died
One of the most common reasons to request guardianship in Arizona is to assume care of a child whose parents have passed away. In some cases, the deceased will have named a guardian in their will. At other times, friends and family members are left to decide who is the best person to care for the child in their parents’ absence. Parents can avoid this challenge by drafting a will that clearly states their intentions regarding minor children.
2. To Care for a Child in an Unsafe Household
Just because a child has living parents doesn’t mean they’re in a safe or healthy situation. Circumstances such as excessive drinking or drug use can make it unsafe for a child to remain in their home. In these cases, another adult may decide to petition for guardianship to protect the child’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, individuals may request guardianship if they feel that children are being physically or emotionally abused by their current custodians.
3. To Care for a Child Whose Parents Are Unable or Unwilling to Do So
Not all parents have the ability or the desire to care for their children. If the parents are unwilling to provide care — or financially unable to give a child basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter — you may opt to petition the court for guardianship.
In some cases, people over the age of 18 may require the care of a guardian. Here are some circumstances in which you may choose to request guardianship of an adult in Arizona:
4. To Care for a Disabled Adult
In the state of Arizona, individuals can apply to be guardians for disabled adults who are unable to care for themselves. In many cases, parents choose to petition for guardianship of their own adult children. Doing this ensures you can be there to make medical decisions and assist your child with housing or education issues.
If you don’t apply for and receive guardianship, you will no longer have the legal ability to make decisions for your child once they turn 18. Arizona parents often apply for guardianship of adult children with autism, Down syndrome, and traumatic brain injuries, among other conditions.
5. To Care for an Aging Adult
The aging process can rob people of their ability to care for themselves and make rational decisions. In Arizona, people can apply for guardianship of parents and other aging adults suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, strokes, and other illnesses and injuries. Taking this step enables you to protect your loved one and make medical and legal decisions on their behalf.
Whether there’s a child in your life who needs support or an aging adult who’s struggling to make decisions, you might want to learn more about becoming a guardian in the state of Arizona. At JacksonWhite Law, we’re passionate about helping you care for your family to the best of your ability. With that in mind, we offer an array of legal services for those seeking guardianship or conservatorship.
Call our Guardianship and Conservatorship team at (480)467-4313 to discuss your case today.