Guardianship Lawyers

Helping You Provide the Care They Need in Bernalillo County & throughout New Mexico

A guardian is someone who takes care of a child’s needs. These needs include shelter, education, food, and medical care, as well as managing the child’s finances. If you are seeking guardianship of a child or you are seeking a guardian ad litem to represent your child during divorce, custody or kinship guardianship proceedings, our team of Albuquerque guardianship attorneys at NM Divorce & Custody Law, LLC can help.

Contact our office today at (505) 431-4716 to schedule an appointment to learn more about legal guardianship.

"Tamara did a wonderful job, was super professional and very conscientious of her time and fees. Our divorce was amicable and she made it very easy. Thank you!."

Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time. - M.F.

How Do Guardianships Differ
 from Adoptions?

A guardianship is a legal relationship between a minor child and a guardian that gives the guardian certain rights and obligations regarding the child. A guardianship does not permanently end the legal relationship between a child and his or her biological parents; instead, the guardian takes over the role of the parent until a guardian is no longer needed to protect the child’s best interest.

An adoption, on the other hand, permanently alters the legal relationship between a child and his or her biological parents. The adopted parents become the legal parents and the biological parents give up all parental rights and obligations. This means the biological parents no longer have a right to raise the child or owe child support, and the child can no longer automatically inherit from his or her biological parents.

Understanding the Responsibilities of a Guardian

As a guardian, you have the important responsibility of making decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves. This may include making decisions about their healthcare, living arrangements, and financial matters. Our experienced Albuquerque guardianship attorneys at NM Divorce & Custody Law, LLC can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your duties as a guardian.

Some of the key responsibilities of a guardian may include:

  • Making medical decisions for the individual
  • Managing the individual's finances and assets
  • Ensuring the individual's living arrangements are suitable and safe
  • Advocating for the individual's best interests
  • Reporting to the court on the individual's well-being

It's important to have a clear understanding of your role as a guardian, and our legal team is here to provide the guidance and support you need.

How Do Guardianships End?

There are several events that can trigger the end of a guardianship. These events include:

  • The death of the child
  • The child reaches the legal age of majority (typically 18 years old in most states)
  • A judge determines that a guardianship is no longer necessary or beneficial for the child
  • The sole purpose of the guardianship was to manage the child’s finances, and the child’s financial assets are exhausted

Guardians can also ask a court to be relieved of his or her guardianship, at which point the court will appoint a new guardian.

Guardian ad Litem

A “guardian ad litem” is a court-appointed representative who stands in the shoes of the minor during court proceedings that involve the minor in some way. In New Mexico, the guardian ad litem is a lawyer. This sometimes happens in divorces and disputes regarding custody of children when the parents are not married to each other or any other situation where the court determines the minor cannot successfully represent his or herself.

Guardian to Non-Biological Children

If you are planning on taking care of a child you live with on a long-term basis, but this child isn’t biologically yours, you should consider becoming a legal guardian. Without guardianship, you will have difficulty getting medical care for the child, enrolling him or her in school, as well as many other problems. Guardianship creates a legal right, giving you say in the child’s future as a guardian, whereas a mere caretaker would not have.

Risks of Choosing Guardianship

There are many good reasons a person may not want to become a guardian. Filing for guardianship could set off a dispute you may want to avoid for both the child’s sake and yours. You might also know the child’s biological parents would object and make the guardianship process extremely difficult.

You can still raise a child without guardianship, but you will have significant difficulties in doing so. Many institutions such as hospitals and schools require parental authorization. Each state has different rules, so research your state’s laws to reveal any potential problems you might have.

What Sets NM Divorce & Custody Law, LLC Apart?

Passionate & Personalized Representation
  • We think outside the box to find the best solution for you and your family.
  • Our lead attorney has extensive experience in private practice & as a former prosecutor, and will take your case to trial.
  • Our team has 20+ years of experience.
  • We will manage expectations and not promise more than what the law would allow given the facts of your case.
NM Divorce & Custody Law, LLC NM Divorce & Custody Law, LLC

Professional, well prepared and compassionate.

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 Team Today

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