This post is being written to conclude and recap my series on filing for guardianship of a child in the state of Arkansas. I felt it was necessary to write on this topic due to the fact that many individuals do not know what to do when they think a child may be in danger. It is important to understand the legal process for filing for guardianship of a child when you believe it would be best for the youth. However, it is important to remember not to take these types of situations into your own hands as this will likely make matters worse. The goal of my recent articles has been to provide information which will help people better understand their situation. It has also been my goal to assist individuals with knowing how to select a guardianship attorney. If you or a loved one need assistance, then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer.
I have addressed several topics over my recent articles. Issues which I have written about include:
- Who may file for the guardianship
- When the court may, or may not, grant a guardianship
- How to gain guardianship of a child in Arkansas
- What happens after guardianship is granted
There are multiple reasons why I chose to address these topics. First, it is important to understand what standards an interested party must meet in order to file for guardianship. To do so, you must be an adult resident of Arkansas that is of sound mind and never been convicted of a felony. Arkansas courts strongly prefer blood relatives of the child to file but will also allow a guardian to be someone who has a close relationship with the child. Second, courts will grant guardianship when the parents are not fit to have custody and when it is in the child’s best interests. This typically occurs when the child is abused, neglected, or abandoned. However, judges will determine whether a guardianship is necessary on a case-by-case basis. Third, understanding what to expect when filing for guardianship of a child will help the process run smoother. The first step to begin the process is to file a petition with the court. If the guardianship is not consented to by the child’s parents or current caretaker, the next step is to attend a trial. However, it is possible to request immediate temporary guardianship of the child in the meantime in order to ensure the child’s safety. Finally, guardianships will not be permanent in nature. Judges tend to assume that it is best for children to live with their parents. As a result, the guardianship will end and the child will be reunited with the parents if the court believes it is safe.
I cannot stress enough the importance of contacting an attorney if you are looking to file for guardianship of a child. Arkansas Courts take guardianships and non-parental custody issues very seriously. I am a Little Rock family lawyer and my office prides itself on giving each case the attention and respect that clients deserve. This includes keeping you informed throughout the entire process and making sure you know what to expect moving forward. I understand that you are facing a serious situation and I am ready to assist you. Contact my office online or by telephone today. I also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.