Colorado Guardianship vs. Parental Rights
A guardian in Colorado is a person chosen to care for children under age 18 or adult children with special needs in the event that their biological parent(s) cannot do so. Guardianship also takes effect after the parent(s) pass away. For this blog, we will focus on guardianship when the parent(s) are still living.
Reasons Why a Guardian May Be Appointed
In the case of living parents, a guardian may be appointed for their children if the parents:
- Are mentally or physically unable to care for the children
- Abuse drugs or alcohol
- Put the safety of the children at risk
- Provide unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Are abusive
- Cannot or will not properly care for the child
Guardianship of the children may be requested by the parents themselves or by a concerned family member, friend or other person who feels the children are in danger.
Guardians Take on a Nurturing Role
The guardian is responsible for providing for the children and helping them move through life in the most supported way possible. Besides providing for basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and education, the guardian is responsible for ensuring they have a healthy life: physically, mentally and socially.
However, guardians do not legally become the children’s new parents. (Legal adoption would be required.)
Even though they may not be involved in the day-to-day raising of their children, the parents still have rights when it comes to their children. The guardian will be legally able to make all decisions on behalf of the child, but this does not have to be a permanent arrangement. If the parents can turn their lives around and become responsible adults, they may be able to regain all of their parental rights.
Guardianship Appointment is Difficult for All Involved
The legal process surrounding guardianship can be difficult for the parents, the children and even the guardian. However, it is always best to act in the best interest of the children. If they are at risk, someone needs to step in and remove the children from potentially dangerous situations. While this can be devastating for the family unit, it may just be the motivating factor to help parents make drastic changes in their lives so they can rebuild their family.
If you know of a child who is in an unsafe environment and wish to petition the courts for guardianship of that child, please contact the Denver guardianship lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC. Alternatively, if you are a parent that cannot properly provide for your child and you need to know how to handle the guardianship process, we can help. We will do everything possible to protect the children so they have the tools they need to succeed in life. To learn more, please contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.