Making arrangements for temporary guardianship of a child

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Under certain circumstances, an Illinois parent may need to turn over their children to another adult for a short period of time. This is referred to as temporary guardianship when the other adult isn’t the other parent. A parent raising a child on their own may need to take this action if, for example, they were going to be out of town for an extended period or incapacitated while recovering from surgery. Establishing temporary guardianship allows a child to live with a non-parent adult who would be responsible for that child’s care and well-being.

If a parent has shared or joint child custody with a former spouse, temporary guardianship usually isn’t necessary. However, a widowed parent or one with sole custody may prefer to take this step. Doing so would involve following state guidelines and procedures, which usually involves filling out a form. The selected temporary guardian should be someone responsible enough to provide necessary care.

A parent temporarily transferring care duties is encouraged to explain expected responsibilities to the temporary guardian. This part of the process normally involves discussing sleeping arrangements, providing an emergency contact number if a parent will still be reachable and giving any special instructions unique to the child about such things as administration of medication. Depending on the length of the temporary guardianship, a child’s school and physician may also need to be notified.

The custodial parent establishing temporary guardianship usually has to have the temporary guardianship agreement form notarized. Doing this could make it easier for the designated caregiver to seek appropriate medical care for the child, if necessary. It can be a good idea for a parent to consult with an attorney to make sure all state requirements have been met. A lawyer may also add wording to the agreement to clearly define how much control is being relinquished.

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