Establishing guardianship of a minor child can be achieved by filing the appropriate paperwork in court. First, Florida residents seeking guardianship must draft a petition that states the guardian seeker’s interest in obtaining guardianship. This document must also include a filing fee. A letter of consent signed by the parents of the child must also be submitted.
After the petition is submitted, the court will then schedule several interviews with yourself, with the child’s parents when they are available, possibly with the child and with anyone else who may be important to the case. Home visits and inspections and criminal background checks are also common before approval in such cases.
Florida courts will always seek to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child and/or children involved. This is the standard for decision-making in any kind of family law matter that affects the lives of a child. If, in the end, the court determines that living with you is indeed in the best interests of the child, then it may ultimately be granted to you.
Because there can be a lot of going back and forth, interviews and legal documentation surrounding the process of gaining guardianship, it may be helpful to parents to contact a qualified Florida family law attorney to help them navigate the process of getting guardianship.
Once guardianship is secured, you may need to sign an oath accepting the responsibilities of guardianship. Of course, getting guardianship is only the first step in the long, rewarding and beautiful life of parenthood.
Source: FindLaw, “How to Establish Guardianship of a Child FAQs,” accessed Sep. 25, 2015