How to Obtain Guardianship in Virginia


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Guardianship can be established in the state of Virginia by filing the proper paperwork with the Virginia state judicial system. This will allow an adult to take responsibility for the welfare of an individual without revoking any parental rights of the biological parents. In many guardianship situations, either the parents have consented because they are unable to provide for the child or the courts have deemed the original parents unfit but not a threat to the child. Guardianships can also be granted for aging adults as when they are deemed unable to mentally provide for their future legally and financially.

Gather Information

Gather necessary information which may be pertinent to your case for stating why you wish to be the legal guardian of another individual. This may include court-ordered documents, a description of the minor's current living arrangements, or a listing of the minor's or adult's financial holdings.

Fill Out a Petition and Information Sheet

Fill out the necessary court petition and supplemental information form. The information form will be different depending on whether you are filing for guardianship of a minor or incapacitated adult. If you are attempting to obtain guardianship of a minor, you must print and fill out the Guardian of a Minor Information form, and if you are attempting to obtain guardianship for an incapacitated adult, you must print and fill out the Incapacitated Adult Information form. Refer back to the resources you gathered in Step 1 to help you fill out the information forms.

Submit Paperwork to the Court

Call your county's courthouse, and schedule a meeting with the court's clerk to submit the paperwork. Bring your paperwork and supporting documentation with you to the meeting as the clerk will want to confirm your answers on the forms.

Follow the Court's Instructions

Wait patiently for a response from the court in regards to your request. If the guardianship was court ordered, your request may be immediately approved, and you will receive guardianship documentation in the mail. In more complex situations where you are perhaps fighting other family members for guardianship, you may be required to attend a court hearing to justify your desire to obtain guardianship for another individual.

About the Author

Bailey Richert is a 2010 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and hydrogeology, as well as a master's degree in systems engineering. After several years in the environmental consulting industry, she is now attending MIT for graduate school. An accomplished traveler, she has visited 23 countries and published her first book about international travel in 2014.

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