Illinois Guardianship Laws
In Illinois, a guardian can be appointed by the court to care for a child if the parents cannot. The guardian takes on parenting roles and duties. They are usually a family member. The type of guardianship depends on what the child needs. Guardianship gives someone who is not the parent legal responsibility for a minor in Illinois.
The Minor Guardianship Process in Illinois
To get an Illinois court to appoint a guardian for a child, you must go through a defined legal process. There are court filings, hearings, and investigations. The steps aim to determine the best caregiver for the child.
If the parents and other family members agree who should be guardian, it can be straightforward. If there is disagreement, it becomes a contested case with each side presenting evidence and arguments. Either way, the judge ultimately makes the final decision considering the child's best interests. Sterling Lawyers can guide you through the minor guardianship process.
Filing the Petition
Someone wanting guardianship files court papers asking to be the guardian. Forms must be filled out correctly. The petition should include the child's birth certificate. Petitioners should also submit DCFS background checks and results of drug tests if applicable. A lawyer can help with the paperwork.
Notice to Interested Parties
The person filing must tell the child's parents and other possible guardians about the case via certified mail at least 14 days before the hearing. Kids over 12 get notice too. This gives them a chance to respond.
Initial Court Hearing
The first hearing is within 45 days of filing. If everyone agrees on the guardian, the case may end here. If not, more hearings are scheduled.
Fact Finding Hearing
This hearing looks at facts to decide the best guardian for the child. Both sides present evidence to the judge. The evidence relates to determining the child's best interest. Home studies may also be ordered.
Guardian ad Litem Investigation
A guardian ad litem meets with people involved and visits proposed guardian’s home. They give opinions about the child's best interest.
Final Court Orders
At the end, the judge decides who will be the guardian. The orders say who the guardian is and for how long.