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Illinois Guardianship Types

Posted on in Guardianship

DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois guardianship typesThe need for a guardian typically arises when the parents of a child have died or are no longer able to provide proper care. Guardianship appointments for minors are handled by the state probate court, and the rules regarding guardianship are defined within the Illinois Probate Act. The law provides for different types of guardianship appointments, each with its own set of guidelines, restrictions and terms.

Types of Guardianship 

Found in Illinois law under 755 ILCS 5/11, the Probate Act recognizes that there are situations where another person besides a parent should be appointed to make decisions that are in the best interest of a child. The Probate Act of Illinois separates guardianship appointments into three different types: permanent guardians, standby guardians, and short-term guardians. Each type of guardian is appointed in their own way, with their own set of responsibilities, and all are appointed for different reasons.

Permanent Guardian

A permanent guardian takes on the legal responsibilities of a parent for a child full-time. This is usually done when both parents have passed away or are no longer able to care for the child. In order to be named as a permanent guardian, an official petition must be filed with the probate court. Hearings are conducted regarding the best interests of the child, and a guardian ad litem may be appointed to investigate the facts of the case. The guardianship remains in place until the child is 18 years old.

Standby Guardian 

A standby guardian takes no immediate action over the legal rights and responsibilities of a minor child. This type of guardian is appointed by a parent in the event that guardianship is required. A standby guardian is able to assume the duties of a guardian upon the death or incapacity of the parents. The procedure for naming a standby guardian is the same as a permanent guardian in court, with a petition and full hearing on the matter. A standby guardianship lasts for one year, and then a petition for permanent guardianship must be filed with the court. 

Short-Term Guardian

A short-term guardian is appointed by a parent to act as the legal guardian of a child for up to one year. Common instances of a short-term guardian include times when a parent is undergoing a serious medical procedure or is battling a serious disease. This type of guardianship cannot be applied if there is another parent who is capable of caring for the child. All that is required for a short-term guardian is an appointment form, and no full petition or hearing is necessary. The guardianship can begin on the date that the form is signed or at a later time. It can last up to one year but terminate upon a shorter time period or event. 

Our Attorneys Can Help

Taking over guardianship of a minor is a serious responsibility, and you need to know that everything is being done properly to ensure the legal guardianship of the child. Our DuPage County family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC are here to help with guardianship matters in Chicago and the western suburbs. Call or contact our office today for a confidential and free review of your case.


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