One of the most challenging aspects of planning for the future if you are a parent is deciding who to name as a guardian for your minor children. Some parents decide that the best option is to select a guardian and then review this designation yearly to make sure it is still appropriate. Deciding who should act as a minor guardian, however, is difficult. The following will review four guidelines to follow when determining who should be a potential guardian of your minor children.
The Age of the Minor
The age of a minor is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to naming a guardian. Younger children need a great amount of focus and time. Older children present more complex issues including the search for identity and the role that school plays in a child’s life. If a child is older and already settled into a school and way of life, a guardian might need to relocate so this arrangement can continue. A guardian must be able to meet these unique challenges.
The Child’s Religion
Children need to grow and develop in many ways, including spiritually. It is important to select a guardian who holds the same religious beliefs as the child. If it is not possible to do so, some parents opt to appoint an agent at an applicable church or religious institution to guide the child’s religious and spiritual development.
The Guardian’s Willingness to Serve
A guardian should be not just able, but also willing and prepared to function in such a role. Guardianship results in many unanticipated challenges including unexpected costs, the need to relocate in some cases, and demands a substantial amount of time to focus on the child’s growth and development. Before taking on the role of a guardian, a nominee should be afforded the time to speak with their family about the demands of a role. This way the potential guardian can make that they have fully considered and accepted the role.
Appointing Grandparents or Adult Children
Two of the most common choices to appoint as guardians of minors are grandparents and older adult children of the parent. Grandparents have more free time to focus on the development of the child and also often already have a strong emotional connection with the child. The downside to appointing a guardian is that courts might be concerned about appointing a grandparent if the adult is very old. If an adult child is of a sufficient maturity level, he or she can also serve as the guardian of children. Given the costs associated with guardianship, however, it might not be a wise idea to nominate an adult child to perform such a role.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Being a guardian for a minor is not easy. If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to help you decide on an appropriate guardian for your children, do not hesitate to contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.