North Shore of Massachusetts Attorney For Guardianship Of Minors


Many families encounter problems when a parent's inability to provide a stable or safe home for a child attracts official attention. At the North Shore law firm of Annette L. Baker & Associates, we advise grandparents, uncles, aunts, and noncustodial parents about their legal alternatives when a child's circumstances are likely to require intervention. Contact us in Beverly to learn about the possible solutions in your case.

A temporary or permanent legal guardianship of a minor is one option that can prevent the need for a foster care placement in such circumstances as a custodial parent's physical abuse, drug or alcohol problem, or incarceration. For a temporary guardianship to be ordered in the best interest of the child, it is necessary to show that you are a suitable caregiver for the minor who needs a new residence, and that the child's parent is incapable of providing proper care or supervision.

In some cases, an application for legal guardianship will originate from your own concern for the child's welfare in the home of a mentally ill, abusive, or chemically dependent parent. In other cases, you might apply for legal guardianship as an alternative to foster care placement of the minor when a Massachusetts Department of Social Services investigation is under way, or when a mandatory reporter has detailed circumstances of suspected abuse to a local child welfare agency. In many cases, any child support payments that go to the minor's parent will be paid to the court-appointed guardian.

When parental rights are terminated, as sometimes happens in cases of chronic drug use, severe abuse, or certain felony convictions, the State normally assumes the legal guardianship of the minor, with a foster care placement in a licensed private home. There might be advantages in a specific case to foster care leading to adoption rather than a permanent guardianship arrangement for a grandparent or other relative. We can explain your rights and responsibilities under all of the available options.

Questions About Guardianships Or Relative Foster Care? Contact Us.

Whether you are interested in a temporary guardianship of a minor, a relative foster care placement, or an adoption following a termination of parental rights, contact the Beverly office of Annette L. Baker & Associates.