In today’s mobile society, many people have family members and close friends who live in another country. In addition, many Americans have non-citizen family members living in the United States. Parents can legally name a guardian who lives abroad or a non-U.S. citizen as the guardian for your minor child in the event something happens to you.
As parents, your priority is to protect the best interest of your child. And if something happens to you, you want to choose the best person to care for your child – regardless if they are a U.S. citizen or resident.
The court system also works to make decisions that are in the best interest of a child, and before a non-citizen or resident could assume guardian status, they must be approved by the legal system – particularly if guardianship is challenged by another family member. In reviewing your guardianship designation, the court will consider:
• If the non-citizen/non-resident has sufficient financial assets to care for the child
• If the country in which the non-citizen/non-resident resides is safe and suitable for a child or disabled person
• If the non-citizen/non-resident has any religious and spiritual practices that must be taken into account
• If the non-citizen/non-resident is mentally and physically healthy enough to care for their protected person
• Does the non-citizen/non-resident have the means to travel back to the United States if necessary?
An experienced lawyer may advise you to also name an alternate guardian who is a U.S. resident and citizen to care for a minor child in case a legal issue does arise – even temporarily.
If you want to name a non-U.S. citizen or non-U.S. resident as the guardian for your child in the event you are no longer able to care for them, you should consult and experienced estate planning attorney. Contact the attorneys at Estate & Probate Legal Group serving Cook and Dupage Counties in Illinois today at 630.800.0112.