Establishing guardianship is a legal process, and we have guided many of our clients to understand the family’s options regarding guardianship, what steps to take before applying for guardianship, and the forms of guardianship – general or plenary guardianship, or limited guardianship.

Frequently Asked New Jersey Guardianship Questions

What is a guardianship?

A legal guardian is an individual has been authorized to act on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated adult. A legal guardian has an obligation to ensure that he/she is acting in this individual’s best interest with regard to his/her health, safety and general welfare. A guardian’s duties involve making decisions on behalf of the individual and providing consent on his/her behalf.

What is a limited guardianship in NJ?

An individual with limited guardianship over a minor or incapacitated adult is authorized to make decisions on his/her behalf relative to residential, educational, medical, legal and financial issues. Typically, limited guardianship is appropriate in cases where the minor/incapacitated adult is capable of making some, but not all, decisions on his/her behalf. In contrast, general guardianship (or “plenary” guardianship) is appropriate in cases where the minor or incapacitated adult is unable to make any decision on his/her own behalf.

How do I begin the process of being appointed a guardian?

In some cases, the induvial may voluntarily appoint the guardian through a Power of Attorney. In the case of a minor or incapacitated adult who is unable to make this decision, the individual seeking to be appointed as guardian must make an application to the Superior Court. This application must be supported by current assessments from either a psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or licensed medical doctor in support of the guardianship application. Upon filing a guardianship application, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent the minor/incapacitated adult. If the Court determines that guardianship is appropriate, a judgment will be entered appointing the guardian(s). Before the guardian may act on behalf of the minor/incapacitated adult, however, he or she must appear before the Surrogate, complete forms and pay all requisite fees. Once a guardian has been appointed by the Court, only the Court can modify the guardianship Order.

Legislative Impact on Family Law – A Sneak Peek

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. My father is a retired juvenile detective from New Jersey.  I developed my love for the law through him. Law school proved challenging, requiring round-the-clock studying, but this diligence allowed me to graduate second in my class. Throughout law school and…

Read More
Lawrence Law Partners with VictimsVoice to Assist Victims of Domestic Violence

Lawrence Law has partnered with VictimsVoice to help its clients who are facing domestic violence issues.  VictimsVoice is a tool that aims to fix the legal documentation burdens victims face when recalling details for reporting acts of abuse, harassment, and discrimination. “We are extremely proud to partner with VictimsVoice.  We are offering this tool to…

Read More
A Modern Family – Third Parties Raising Children

The definitions of  “parenthood” and “family” continue to evolve. Today, it is not uncommon for a child to have a parent-child relationship with someone other than the biological parents. As the needs of children change, and as society changes, so does the law surrounding custody and parenting time. Therefore, a third party who lives in…

Read More
Special Needs Child Support in New Jersey

I often hear attorneys say calculating child support is the easiest part of their job. In New Jersey, we have Child Support Guidelines.  As such, the New Jersey guidelines will be presumably accepted by both the parties and the Court. Child support is based on the parties’ respective combined available net income.  The support is…

Read More
The Role of a Parent Coordinator in Custody Issues

Custody and parenting time issues are highly contentious and hotly contested in many New Jersey divorce cases.  Because of this, a Parent Coordinator can serve divorcing parties well by assisting them in trying to resolve their issues. Often times when either the parties agree or the Court enters an Order regarding same, a Parent Coordinator…

Read More
Call Us