Family law refers to rules, regulations, and court procedures involving a family. As with most other areas of the law, whether you need a family law attorney depends on a number of factors specific to your situation. Although some family law matters may be handled without counsel, processes such as divorce and child custody often require the skill and expertise of a skilled attorney.
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The court may appoint a guardian when a person is unable to care for his or her own physical or financial well-being or to make competent decisions about personal, medical and financial matters.
The Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, which aims to protect the welfare of children and incapacitated adults in Oklahoma, defines a guardian as “a person appointed by the court to take care of the person or property of another.” The person who is placed under the care of a guardian, or over whose property a guardian is appointed, is called a “ward.”
Often, guardianship involves power over the welfare of a minor, but an incapacitated adult may also be placed under guardianship under state law. The Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act also defines a “partially incapacitated person”, who is a person whose impairment only inhibits his or her ability to successfully meet the requirements for physical health and safety or manage his or her finances.
In the case of a minor ward, a parent may not be able to serve as a suitable guardian for his or her own child. In these cases, a family member or concerned friend may seek guardianship of the child.
Types of Guardians
- General guardian – a person who has court-appointed guardianship over a person and the property of the ward
- Limited guardian – a person who has limited powers over the ward and/or the property of the ward
- Special guardian – an emergency guardian appointed immediate guardianship in high-risk situations; special guardianship is temporary and does not typically exceed 30 days. During this time, an emergency guardian may work to become the court-appointed general guardian of the ward
Whether a person is granted special guardianship, general guardianship, or limited guardianship, he or she will have specific obligations which must be fulfilled in order to maintain guardianship over the ward.
At Rubenstein & Pitts, we work closely with our clients throughout the guardianship process to inform them of the steps of the guardianship process and guarantee a result that is best for the ward in need of a guardian.