At Potra Law Firm, we understand the concerns of immigrant parents to US citizen children. Parents have the best interest of their children in their heart but parents cannot always be present in the lives of their children. When an absence is long, parents have the ability to appoint guardians over the children to care for the needs and development of the child. If the departure from the family is sudden, a close friend or family member can ask the courts to appoint them as the guardian and care giver to the child. There are several types of guardianship and the following are two of the more common.
Standby Guardianships (Power of Attorney)
A custodial parent or parents may sign a document designating a standby guardian for their child or children in the event the parent(s) become incapacitated. The guardianship is not activated until a health care professional certifies that the parent or parents have actually become incapacitated. At that point, a notice of the standby guardianship must be filed in Probate Court, along with a copy of the designation and the health care certificate.
We use this form of guardianship to designate a guardian to care for the child when a parent is placed into deportation proceedings or deported to their country of origin.
Sometimes parents are temporarily unable to care for their minor children and must place them with a friend or relative who can care for the children until the custodial parent(s) can do so again. In these situations, a temporary guardianship of the minor can be useful to the parties so that the temporary guardian can enroll the child in school, authorize medical treatment, etc. Unlike the standby guardianship, the temporary guardianship requires a court appearance and an order from the Probate Court designating the temporary guardian for the child.