grandmother holding granddaughter This is the next post in my series on filing for guardianship of a child in Little Rock, Arkansas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It is important to remember not to take these types of situations into your own hands, as this will likely make matters worse. In this article I will be discussing who may file for guardianship in our state. This is an incredibly complex topic that can be confusing for many people. The Court takes claims for guardianship and non-parental custody very seriously, so I would like to stress the importance of speaking with an attorney. If you are seeking to file for guardianship of a child, contact my office today so that we can help you with this process.

Arkansas courts allow any adult with a relationship to the child to file for guardianship

By law, to file for guardianship of a child in Little Rock, 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 for guardianship, such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle. However, courts will consider “fictive kin” as guardians as well. “Fictive kin” are individuals not related by blood, adoption, or marriage, but who already have a significant relationship to the child. Basically, courts will allow a guardian to be someone who knows the child well and has had a positive role in the child’s life.

Moreover, it must be in the best interests of the child to be placed with a legal guardian instead of their parents. Courts are mostly looking for someone that is willing to help and capable of making the child feel safe and loved. If you have a close bond with a child whose parents may be deemed unfit to care for them, then you may be able to obtain guardianship. Individuals who may properly file for guardianship of a child should understand that they cannot do so for trivial reasons. For example, you cannot file for guardianship simply because you disagree with how the child is being raised. Rather, a petition requesting guardianship must allege that the child is being abused, abandoned, or otherwise neglected. It is strongly suggested that you consult with an attorney to determine if they have standing and merit to bring a guardianship claim.

Contact my Little Rock office if you are attempting to gain guardianship over a child

If you are attempting to gain guardianship over a child then contact my Little Rock office immediately. I do not suggest taking matters into your own hands if you believe a child is in danger. Courts often look down upon “self-help” and individuals may possibly be charged with kidnapping if they attempt to remove a child from the home. Even if one is not charged with kidnapping, their case to establish guardianship of the child could be compromised. By speaking with counsel, you will receive guidance on how to proceed properly in such situations.

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 staying in regular communication with you as the case moves forward and making sure you know what to expect from the process. 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.