Definition - What does Guardianship mean?

Guardianship is a legal status that is held by an adult over a child or incompetent adult which deems them responsible for the upkeep and well being of the child or incompetent adult.

The parent - child relationship is the primary guardianship status. However, any person under the age of 18 who is in the legal care of a person over the age of 18 will be deemed to have a guardianship relationship. Within this situation, the guardianship allows the holder the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the minor in all areas including health, education, clothing, entertainment, after school activities, and appearance.

Justipedia explains Guardianship

When a court ordered guardianship exists, it is usual for the court to retain a person to oversee the guardianship relationship in order to ensure that it is legally compliant and advantageous for the minor. Incapacitated persons over the age of 18 can still be reliant on this type of status and would either have a family member as the guardian or the court. If it is a court ordered guardian the term guardian ad litem is used.

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