If you have a child with certain special needs, you may understand and accept that your child will never have the ability to fully control his or her own life. You may not have had to worry about this issue much because, as the parent, you have done your best to care for your child and handle his or her affairs already. However, as your child reaches the legal age of adulthood, you may need to take steps to maintain that ability.
When your child reaches the age of 18, you lose the ability to legally handle certain aspects of his or her life. If you know that your child will not be able to maintain a home, attend to medical needs or handle financial obligations due to a mental or physical disability, you may want to take steps to obtain guardianship.
What does guardianship allow?
As a guardian, you do not have unchallenged authority over all of your child's affairs. If the court does approve your guardianship, you may have the following powers:
- Making financial decisions for your child
- Sending updates to the court regarding your child's living conditions, mental and physical health, the services you are providing and other information
- Making sure that your child has the care he or she needs when needed
- Making medical decisions for your child
- Maintaining educational and medical services
Essentially, you will have the ability to step in and make needed decisions in the event that your child does not have the ability to do so.
How can you become a guardian?
It is important to understand that you do not automatically maintain control of your child's affairs when he or she reaches adulthood simply because you are the parent. You must go through the formal legal proceedings necessary to obtain guardianship. In the end, the court will have the final say in who acts as guardian. If your child has the ability to express his or her wishes on the matter, the court will take those wishes into consideration.
Guardianship proceedings are not always easy, even for a parent. In order to determine whether you suit the Kansas guardianship qualifications, you may want to gain reliable information regarding your circumstances. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney could help you obtain answers to any questions you may have and provide you with help throughout the legal proceedings.