As a Texas parent of a child with a disability, you may feel accustomed to managing many aspects of your son or daughter’s life. You may maintain control over your child’s finances, for example. You may also make all or most of the decisions about health care, housing and so on.
Once your child turns 18, he or she becomes legally able to make these decisions without your input. If your child’s disability is especially severe, though, he or she may not be able to make these decisions, at which point you may want to consider establishing a guardianship.
What is guardianship?
A guardianship gives you or another appointed guardian the legal right to make decisions on your adult child’s behalf. A court has to acknowledge that your child lacks capacity before you may move forward with a guardianship because this type of arrangement does take away some of your child’s legal rights. However, in many cases, it may be in your child’s interests to have you or another serve as a guardian.
How do you apply for guardianship?
Most people secure legal representation when seeking guardianship over an adult child. With your lawyer, you may file a petition in court requesting guardianship. Then, a judge appoints an attorney ad litem who represents your child throughout the guardianship process. After a careful review of your child’s condition, the ad litem reports back to the court about whether the guardianship request has merit.
The process of obtaining guardianship over an adult child is often lengthy and complex. You may want to apply for guardianship as soon as your child turns 18, but it may benefit you to put the wheels in motion long beforehand.