In the District of Columbia permanent guardianship generally enumerates the permanent guardian’s rights and responsibilities concerning the care, custody, and control of the child. Our Family Law DC guardianship lawyers are thoroughly familiar with the relevant statutory elements and can assist you in navigating through all aspects of filing and prosecuting a guardianship motion.
Specifically, according to the relevant DC guardianship statute, upon issuance of a guardianship order, the permanent guardian is granted physical custody of the child and is required by law to provide day to day care of the child including but not limited to providing: food, shelter, clothing, education, discipline, health care as well as providing legal assistance when needed and authorizing releases of information for health care or educational purposes.
The Court may issue a DC guardianship order only after concluding that such is in the child’s best interests; adoption/termination of parental rights or return of the child to the biological parent is not appropriate; that permanent permanent guardian is fit and able to provide a safe and permanent home environment for the child.
In determining whether it is in the child’s best interests that a permanent guardian be designated, the court shall consider each of the following factors:
(1) The child’s need for continuity of care and caretakers, and for timely integration into a stable and permanent home, taking into account the differences in the development and the concept of time of children of different ages;
(2) The physical, mental, and emotional health of all individuals involved to the degree that each affects the welfare of the child, the decisive consideration being the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child;
(3) The quality of the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent, siblings, relatives, and caretakers, including the proposed permanent guardian;
(4) To the extent feasible, the child’s opinion of his or her own best interests in the matter; and
(5) Evidence that drug-related activity continues to exist in a child’s home environment after intervention and services have been provided pursuant to section 6-2104.01. Evidence of continued drug-activity shall be given great weight.
If you are considering filing a DC guardianship motion, please contact our experienced family law DC guardianship lawyers for a free initial consultation and case review.