A guardian is a person who is responsible for the care and welfare of another person. In the
case of children, legal guardianship is automatically given to the parents at birth; however, if
the parents are deceased or found unfit to care for their child, guardianship is given to
Besides parents, there are two types of legal guardians for minor children: subsidized and
• Subsidized guardians include foster parents, who are given financial assistance to pay for
the needs of the child for whom they are caring.
• Standby guardians are chosen by the parents of a child, most often when the parents have
a life-threatening illness and are expecting to be unable to care for their child in the near
The process of obtaining legal guardianship of a child begins with the filing of a petition. This
petition lets the family court know that guardianship is being sought, and will be followed
with a request for evidence regarding the filer's fitness to be a guardian. Proof that the
parents are deceased or otherwise unable to care for their child will be required, along with
proof of a positive and established relationship with the child. The aim of the family court is
to do whatever is in the best interest of the child.
Sometimes, a person seeking guardianship will be required to put up a fiduciary bond to
cover any liability expenses arising from caring for the child. While this process is taking
place, a temporary guardian may be placed to care for the child and serve their interests
while a more permanent situation can be established.
Once a person is granted legal guardianship of a child by the court, certified papers
evidencing the decision will be sent to the new guardian. It is important to retain these
papers for future reference.
There are rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal guardian. The guardian has
the same responsibilities as a parent would, meaning they must care for the child, make sure
the child obtains an education, and provide a safe home for the child. The guardian retains
the right to discipline the child as a parent would.
A guardian is different than an adoptive parent because the parents may still have contact
with their child when a legal guardian is caring for them, and the birth parents retain a
financial obligation for their child.
Guardianship is not limited to the care of a child; guardians may be placed for adults that do
not have the mental capacity to care for themselves. This can include an adult who is
incapable of caring for themselves because of mental illness, or can be a parent who suffers
from mental deterioration, causing dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Guardians may even be
placed for an adult who is addicted to alcohol or gambling to the point that they have
seriously harmed themselves or their family. If an adult is recklessly spending their estate to
the detriment of themselves or family members, a temporary guardian may be placed.
With extensive experience in all aspects of family law, child custody & support, paternity,
guardianship the Richelieu Law Group has aggressively and successfully represented
numerous clients in Las Vegas. For more information on our services, please visit our website
or contact us at 702-914-0000.