grandparents with grandchildThis is the next post in my series on filing for guardianship of a child in Little Rock, Arkansas. My last article discussed which parties may file for a guardianship in our state. It is important to understand that only individuals who have a significant relationship to the child can file for guardianship in Arkansas. If you are unsure as to whether you have standing to bring such a claim, then it is strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney. In this article, we will discuss situations in which Courts may and may not be inclined to grant guardianship of a child. If you are in need of assistance, please contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

Arkansas courts may grant guardianship of a child that is abused, neglected, or abandoned

Arkansas law allows interested parties to file for guardianship of a child if they are abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents. If this type of situation arises, the party should file a Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian. However, it is crucial for potential guardians to understand what abuse, neglect, and abandonment may look like. For example, it is child abuse to allow a child to eat or inhale a substance that may alter their mood, such as drugs not prescribed by a physician, or alcohol. Abuse can also entail causing pain that is not temporary or leaving more than minor temporary marks on a child. Whereas merely spanking a child may not necessarily constitute “abuse.”

Further, neglect may look like failing to help if there is reason to believe the child is being abused. Neglect could also be refusing to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, and/or education for the child. On the other hand, simply failing to properly supervise a child is not likely to be considered “neglect” in a court of law. Moreover, leaving a young child home alone for a few hours is not likely to rise to the level of “abandonment.” Rather, a child will likely be considered abandoned when he or she is left behind for a significant period of time without ensuring it is properly cared for.

It is necessary to seek counsel when filing for guardianship of a child because abuse, neglect, or abandonment is regarded on a case-by-case basis

Abuse, neglect, and abandonment in the legal sense of the words are used to define extreme conduct. It is important to remember that a judge may regard abuse, neglect, and abandonment differently from you. It is incredibly common for disagreements with respect to parenting methods to be mistaken for abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Just because you think a child is being subjected to poor treatment, it does not mean you will be successful in obtaining a guardianship. Courts will determine whether a child needs a non-parental guardian on a case-by-case basis.

If you or a family member are seeking guardianship of a child, then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer. I understand that nothing is more important to someone than their children and that this is a serious time in your life. My office will give your case the attention it deserves. This includes quickly responding to your requests and maintaining communication throughout the entire duration of your case. Contact my office online or by telephone to speak with an attorney. I also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.