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pinkbunn3h

18 year old seeking guardianship of 13 year old

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My mother has agreed to give me guardian ship of my younger sister due to finances and my sisters need for guidance. I will be turning 18 soon and need to know how to start the process also how much would this cost? Also would adopting be better? prices ?

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Not sure why you want a guardianship.  The law does not require a minor child to physically reside with a parent or guardian.  If your mother cannot afford to care for your sister and you can, and if that's the only reason you want the guardianship, the quickest and cheapest way to go is for your sister to move in with you with your mother's permission, which costs nothing. Certain legal documents (school admission forms, drivers license application, medical directives, etc.) which only a parent or guardian can sign, can simply be forwarded to Mom for her signature which again costs nothing except for the turnaround time.  Of course you can petition the court for a guardianship (your mother cannot simply "give" it to you) but you will incur the court costs and attorney's fees, and there's no guarantee the court will find it in a 13-year-old child's best interest to have an 18-year-old legal guardian.  An Arizona family law attorney can best explain the process and your chance of success.

 

If there are other reasons beside just "finances" that compel you to seek a guardianship, you'll need to elaborate.

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9 hours ago, pinkbunn3h said:

My mother has agreed to give me guardian ship of my younger sister

 

It is not possible for her to "give" guardianship of your sister.  A guardianship can exist only if ordered by the court.  You certainly may apply to the appropriate court for a guardianship and seek a declaration or affidavit from your mother consenting to the guardianship, but it will be up to the court to award it.  The chances of any judge awarding a guardianship to a person who is barely an adult him/herself are incredibly slim.

 

 

9 hours ago, pinkbunn3h said:

I will be turning 18 soon and need to know how to start the process also how much would this cost? Also would adopting be better? prices ?

 

While a guardianship is extremely unlikely, an adoption is not going to happen.  You can google "guardianship in arizona" and "arizona guardianship procedure" and "arizona guardianship forms" and see what information is available, but, under the circumstances, a guardianship is not a good do-it-yourself project.

 

By the way, how exactly would you expect to support the two of you?  Where is your father (and keep in mind that you would have to give him notice of the proposed guardianship)?

 

 

3 hours ago, Ted_from_Texas said:

The law does not require a minor child to physically reside with a parent or guardian.  If your mother cannot afford to care for your sister and you can, and if that's the only reason you want the guardianship, the quickest and cheapest way to go is for your sister to move in with you with your mother's permission, which costs nothing.

 

Agree.

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Hi @pinkbunn3h

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Our Learn About the Law section has some helpful materials on both guardianship and adoption. You can review these materials to understand the difference, and to help you plan your next steps.

 

As others have mentioned, you may also want to confer with an experienced family law attorney, because the guardianship process can be complex.

 

Best of luck and keep us posted!

The FindLaw.com Team

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6 hours ago, Ted_from_Texas said:

Not sure why you want a guardianship.  The law does not require a minor child to physically reside with a parent or guardian.  If your mother cannot afford to care for your sister and you can, and if that's the only reason you want the guardianship, the quickest and cheapest way to go is for your sister to move in with you with your mother's permission, which costs nothing. Certain legal documents (school admission forms, drivers license application, medical directives, etc.) which only a parent or guardian can sign, can simply be forwarded to Mom for her signature which again costs nothing except for the turnaround time.  Of course you can petition the court for a guardianship (your mother cannot simply "give" it to you) but you will incur the court costs and attorney's fees, and there's no guarantee the court will find it in a 13-year-old child's best interest to have an 18-year-old legal guardian.  An Arizona family law attorney can best explain the process and your chance of success., you'll need to elaborate.

The reason she needs to come live with me is beyond the financial situation. I only lived with my mother for 5 years of my life. Something happened and I was then sent away from my moms because of what happened now it's happening to my little sister she's only 13... No adults are stepping in to save her like they did to me. If she continues to stay with my mother, I'm not sure what will happen but it's not going to be good. As far as me supporting her I will do whatever it takes doesn't matter how many jobs I need to have her here and safe is worth it. 

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Hi @pinkbunn3h,

 

Depending on your county, sometimes guardianship procedures will take place through the Court's "probate" department, and sometimes it's through the "family law" department.

 

A great place to start, if your county processes adoptions through their probate department, is to make an appointment with your county's probate examiner. He or she is typically the one most familiar with the processes, and will oftentimes review your paperwork to make sure you've checked all the proverbial boxes.

 

It's also important to consider whether or not the court (or, really, the assigned departmental investigator) would find compelling reasons to remove decision making authority from your mother. You mention "finances," but typically a Court would want to see evidence that your mother is an unfit parent (drug use, violence, abandonment) if they are going to consider temporarily suspending her custodial rights.

 

Cost wise, both guardianships and adoption costs vary by state and locale, but it's not inexpensive.  Most court's treat this as a civil Petition (which is likely several hundred dollars), and if you are requesting orders on an emergency basis, there is also often an additional charge. You will also need to attend several court appearances and work with several court investigators prior to receiving any sort of long-term custody orders over your sister. It's definitely a major undertaking, and if you are able to achieve the result you're looking for without needing to involve this court process, it may be a better solution for you.

 

Good luck!

 

 

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2 hours ago, pinkbunn3h said:

The reason she needs to come live with me is beyond the financial situation. I only lived with my mother for 5 years of my life. Something happened and I was then sent away from my moms because of what happened now it's happening to my little sister she's only 13... No adults are stepping in to save her like they did to me. If she continues to stay with my mother, I'm not sure what will happen but it's not going to be good.

 

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but it sounds like you're talking about abuse/molestation.  If that's the case, the police and/or child protective services should be contacted ASAP.

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