Apr 4, 2019 | Family Law


As previous posts here have explained, relatives and friends of minor children in Rockford, Illinois, may find that they need some legal authority to care for the children. For instance, they may have stepped in because the child’s parent has health or other issues that make it hard or even impossible for the parent to care for the children.

In other cases, the parents may both be dead, institutionalized or incarcerated, or they may have even simply abandoned the child. Still, in the eyes of the law, only a child’s legal parents have automatic authority to care for a child and make decisions on the child’s behalf.

guardianship is a court order that legally gives this parental authority to another person who legitimately needs it. With that authority comes certain rights and responsibilities. Basically, with some limited exceptions, a guardian over a minor’s person has the right to do what a parent has the right to do for a child, especially with respect to child’s health, education and upbringing. A guardian would do well to review their order creating the guardianship, however, as it could have limits on their decision-making authority.

Correspondingly, a guardian has an obligation to care for the child in the guardian’s care as would a parent. Likewise, the court may expect the guardian to give a report from time to time about the child’s overall status and what medical treatment and other services the child has received. Finally, the guardian needs to follow any special orders from the court. Should a child own significant property, a guardian may have additional duties under the applicable family law in Illinois.