What is a "Guardianship over the Person of a Minor"?
This is when an adult, other than the minor's parent, is granted legal custody of a minor.
As a result, the guardian is lawfully invested with the power, and charged with the duty, of taking care of the minor. Many parents give guardianship over their child to a relative so that the child can be covered by the guardian's health insurance, or to allow the child to register in another school district. Every parent who is considering giving guardianship of his/her child to another person must remember that guardianship is custody. Therefore, when you give someone else guardianship over your child, you are surrendering custody to the guardian. You, as the parent, have legally lost custody and control of your child. A guardian could technically move off Guam and take your child without seeking your permission. So, you must carefully consider the reason for the guardianship and be sure that you fully trust the proposed guardian(s).
An alternative that I have successfully used numerous times is to ask the judge to grant a guardianship that will act in concert with the parental rights of the parent(s). With such an arrangement, the parent(s) are not totally surrendering custody of their child to the guardian. Rather, the parent(s) and the guardian share custody of the child. If this is something you might want to consider, it is important that you first find out if this arrangement will be compatible with the purpose of the guardianship. For example, if the actual purpose of the guardianship is to include the child under the guardian's health insurance policy, make sure the insurance company will accept a guardianship that operates in concert with the parent's parental rights.
Please note that the proposed guardian(s) must usually attend the guardianship hearing.
How much does a guardianship over a minor case cost?
If both parents are consenting to the guardianship, the legal fee is $795. This includes the preparation of the documents and one court hearing. Fortunately, the Superior Court does not charge any fees for juvenile matters. If one parent does not agree with the guardianship, you will need to meet with me to discuss the situation and the cost.
How can I get started with my guardianship over a minor case?
Simply click on the "Guardianship over a minor's Worksheet" button and complete the form. It is important that you fill the worksheet out completely. Once you have completed the worksheet, call my office at 472-8472 and set up an appointment for a consultation. The consultation fee is $75 for up to 30 minutes. Be sure to bring the worksheet and the child's birth certificate with you. Without a worksheet, I will not be able to meet with you. >Click here to get started with a worksheet
This explanation sheet is provided for general information only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should discuss the specifics of your situation with a reputable attorney prior to taking any legal action. Neither this site nor anyone associated with this site shall be held liable for the use of the information contained in this document or for any decisions made based on the information provided herein.