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Moving from Custody to Guardianship: 3 Steps to Take When Your Child with a Disability Turns 18.

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton Child Custody AttorneyIf an Illinois court has granted you custody of your child, it means you are the one with legal rights to make decisions for him or her. In Illinois, those rights end when your child turns 18, at which time he or she is considered an emancipated adult.

But what if your child has a disability such that he or she can't make personal or financial decisions without your help? What if you still need legal authority to make those decisions on your child's behalf? In such cases, you may need to be appointed as your adult child's legal guardian. Adult guardianship cases are handled by Illinois probate courts. Here are 3 steps you should take if your disabled child will soon be turning 18.

1. Consult with a Probate Attorney.

If your child with a disability is going to need you to act as the legal guardian, an important first step is to contact and schedule a consultation with an attorney who regularly practices in probate court in the county where you live, and who is experienced in adult guardianship cases. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, PC regularly handle adult guardianship cases in DuPage County, Cook County, and other Illinois counties.

2. Review your Custody or Allocation Judgment.

When parties to a divorce or parentage case enter into a Custody or Allocation Judgment that involves a child with a disability, there often will be language in the document that spells out what should happen when the child reaches age 18, and who should be appointed as guardian. Make sure to provide your attorney with a copy of your Judgment.

Ultimately, your child's other parent will need to receive formal notice of any guardianship proceedings, so provide his or her address to your attorney as well.

3. Gather Information Child's Financial Information.

If your child has assets or income in his or her sole name, then the probate court may need you to take responsibility for your child's finances and to provide the court with a regular accounting as to how your child's money is being spent and invested. Be sure to provide your attorney with any financial information concerning your child's assets, income, regular expenses, and special needs.

At Anderson & Associates, PC, we have decades of experience helping parents who are stepping into the complex role of a legal guardian for their adult children.

If you need any information about probate court or adult guardianship, call 630-653-9400 and speak with one of the attorneys at Anderson & Associates, PC. We can answer your questions and move you in the right direction.

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