In Pennsylvania, a family member can seek a guardianship for a minor child. The prospective guardian must present evidence that the biological parent isn’t providing for their child and/or presents a risk to the child. The risk must be a condition that threatens the well-being of the child. A family law attorney in Lancaster County, PA helps prospective guardians with these endeavors.
Identifying the Risk to the Child
The first step is to identify the risk to the child. This must include but is not limited to neglecting to provide adequate food for the child. A parent who is abusive either mentally or physically is another form of risk to the child. The prospective guardian must acquire evidence that shows how the parent is a risk before petitioning the court.
Reporting the Risk to the Authorities
Next, the individual must file a report with child protective services explaining how the parent is a risk to the child in detail. This includes providing evidence that shows how the parent is abusing or neglecting the child. The agency assigns a caseworker to the child and determines if the claim is valid.
A Home Study
A home study is scheduled for the child and parent. The caseworker comes to their home and interviews the child and their parent separately. They assess the living conditions of the home to determine if there are any signs of the identified risk.
The Guardianship Hearing
During the guardianship hearing, the prospective guardian and the caseworker provide evidence of the risk. During the process, the court may provide temporary custody initially. Typically, these assignments last between six months and one year. After which the petitioner acquires the guardianship if sufficient evidence is presented. The risk must be present during the hearing.
In Pennsylvania, a family member could acquire guardianship of a child if the parent fails to fulfill their responsibilities. These responsibilities include covering basic necessities and providing a loving environment. Petitioners who want to acquire a guardianship need to speak to a family law attorney in Lancaster County, PA through the Law Office of Melissa R. Montgomery today.
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