Permanent guardianship

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Permanent guardianship occurs when an adult takes legal responsibility for a minor child who is not his or her own. In order for guardianship to be considered permanent, the adult must be legally responsible for the child for a period of more than six months, and a court must order the guardianship. A permanent guardian takes care of a child's personal needs, including shelter, education, and medical care. A permanent guardian may also provide financial management for a child, though sometimes a second person, often called a 'conservator' or 'guardian of the estate,' is appointed for this purpose. In order to become a permanent guardian, guardianship papers must be filed in court. A court investigator interviews the prospective guardian, the child, and the child's parents if they are alive and available, and makes a recommendation to the judge. The judge then reviews the case and decides whether to appoint the prospective guardian. A permanent guardian may also be named in a will, so if a child's parents die, a guardian is immediately available to take legal responsibility for the child.

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