Substance abuse can hurt families. Even in a situation where a parent is working to overcome their addiction, children can remain susceptible to physical or emotional damage. As a grandparent, this can be difficult to watch If your grandchildren are living in a home with parents who have problems from substance abuse, there are legal actions grandparents can take to protect their grandchildren.
Guardianship is a legal term that refers to the legal right to make decisions for someone else. Guardianship may be appropriate in various situations, which could include:
There are two guardianship options for grandparents to protect their grandchildren from a parent who has substance abuse issues.
Grandparent Custody of the Grandchildren
If a child’s parents are absent or unable or unwilling to provide appropriate care for an extended period of time, the child’s grandparents can file for legal temporary guardianship. If the parents voluntarily consent to grandparent guardianship, the process will be very smooth. If the parent is absent, or unwilling to relinquish guardianship, a guardianship attorney can help you protect the rights and best interests of your grandchild.
Adult Guardianship of Your Child Who Is A Parent
If your adult child is struggling and you want to protect your grandchildren from poor parental decisions, you can petition the courts to be named the guardian of your child. If granted, guardianship can give you the authority to make medical and financial decisions for your child, and thus protect your grandchildren from their parent’s inability to act responsibly.
Guardianship applications go through a formal legal process in the appropriate circuit court. The first step of the process is to file a petition with supporting information using court-approved forms. The petition must include a detailed report from a licensed physician and other professionals regarding the specific reasons the person at issue is allegedly incapacitated. The proposed ward has rights throughout this process, which include the right to have his or her own attorney and the right to a court hearing before a judge.
If you want to petition for adult guardianship of your child or guardianship of your grandchildren, it’s smart to get legal representation and consult an experienced guardianship lawyer.
If you are a grandparent who wants legal guardianship of your adult child who suffers from substance abuse, contact the experienced adult guardianship attorneys at Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100. We provide legal services in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties.