Minor Guardianship FAQs
If you are considering seeking guardianship of a minor, the below answers to guardianship FAQs may be helpful. Still have questions? We can help.
Destiny Law Firm, PLLC provides the experience and knowledge to navigate the sometimes-difficult waters of minor guardianship cases. Below are answers to some of the most common FAQs about obtaining guardianship of a minor.
Still have questions, or interested in a consultation? Contact Destiny Law Firm, PLLC in Little Rock, AR today.
When someone is appointed guardian for a minor, they are accepting the legal and ethical responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of both the physical and financial well-being of a person under 18 years old.
In a case of minor guardianship, one person can be granted guardianship, or a husband-and-wife couple can also share custody, care, and control of a minor person, who is referred to as a “ward.” It is also possible for guardianship to be split, where one person is responsible for the minor’s physical well-being, while another is responsible for managing a minor’s financials and property.
A guardian is under what is called “fiduciary duty,” where they hold a legal and ethical relationship of trust with the ward. They are responsible for the minor’s physical health and well-being, as well as responsible for the ward’s finances and educational requirements.
Anyone who is under the age of 18 is considered to be a minor by the State of Arkansas.
If you are seeking guardianship, the minor must have been in your care and custody for a reasonable period of time, based on circumstances. The process of obtaining guardianship is often difficult to navigate, and missteps can cost time, money, and energy. An experienced minor guardianship attorney will protect the rights of both you and the minor, and will help you make informed decisions along the way. Our attorneys can help.
In order to be designated a legal guardian, you must:
Arkansas courts give some legal preference to blood relatives in guardianship cases.
In Arkansas, you can file for legal guardianship in the county circuit court where the ward resides.
Every case is unique, but in general, fees for an uncontested guardianship are approximately $1,500 plus any additional costs. If the guardianship is contested, we assess a $2,500 or more retainer, depending on the difficulty of the case. Typically, you can expect contested minor guardianship cases to cost approximately $5,000.
Uncontested cases for minor guardianship take approximately 90 to 180 days from the time you file until the case is fully processed and finalized.
Contested cases typically take a minimum of three to six months. An emergency filing can expedite the process, which means a hearing can be granted as soon as three days after filing. Emergency filing is usually the result of a need for resolution due to school starting, or risk to the physical well-being of the minor. In the event of an emergency filing, you can be granted temporary guardianship for 90 days; after that time period, guardianship of a minor either becomes permanent or is dismissed.
Guardianship is not necessarily permanent. In most cases of guardianship of a minor, guardianship ends when they become adults. If the minor has special needs, the court can limit or set aside the guardianship when or if the ward become an adult and can function all or partially on their own.
The process of seeking guardianship of a minor is rarely straightforward, and failing to file the right document at the right time can result in costly mistakes. An experienced guardianship lawyer can help you through this process, ultimately saving resources, and ensuring that your rights, and the rights of the minor, are protected.