Las Cruces Guardianship Attorneys

Albuquerque Guardianship Attorneys

A guardianship grants a person legal authority and responsibility to look after certain personal and/or financial interests of another individual referred to as the ward. As such, guardianships are a type of custody arrangement that must be reviewed and approved by a family court.

At Sutherland Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers have extensive experience helping clients secure, alter, and terminate guardianships. Diligent and compassionate, we can advocate your rights, protect your interests, and effectively represent you as we help you achieve your goals.

Call 505-539-3232 or Email Us for Answers about Your Guardianship Case

We are ready to discuss your situation and explain your options regarding guardianship. In these cases, we represent prospective and current guardians, as well as biological parents, wards, and others.

WHEN ARE GUARDIANSHIPS NEEDED?

Guardianships are typically helpful when an individual is unable to care for his or her own welfare and/or finances. In general, guardianships are used to look after:

  • Minor children – In addition to caring for abused and/or neglected children, guardianships can be used for children whose parents are terminally ill, incarcerated, homeless, or otherwise unable to provide the necessary care.
  • Adults – This can include adults with developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and/or other illnesses. It can also include elderly individuals whose age or deteriorating health renders them unable to look after their wellbeing and/or finances.

Guardianships can be temporary or longer-term, depending on the situation and needs of the ward. When minor children are involved, the guardianship will not automatically terminate parental rights; instead, the guardianship relationship will co-exist with the parental relationship, unless another action is taken to sever the legal parental relationship.

WHO CAN BE A GUARDIAN?

To become a guardian in New Mexico, you have to be at least 18 years old. While relatives are usually preferred as guardians, a biological relationship does not have to exist in order to establish guardianship. Consequently, it’s possible for guardians to be:

  • Biological or non-biological aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and other family members
  • Non-family caregivers, such as family friends – When a non-relative seeks guardianship, (s)he will usually have to establish his or her relationship with the ward and demonstrate why (s)he serving as guardian would be in the ward’s best interest.

Those who are not eligible under New Mexico law to become guardians include individuals who have:

  • Felony convictions on their criminal record
  • Been deemed incompetent by the court.

WHAT DOES A GUARDIAN DO?

A guardianship can be as limited or expansive in authority as the court deems fit, based on the circumstances and the needs of the ward. Generally, a guardianship can include the legal authority and responsibility to care for or manage any or all of the following associated with a ward:

  • Shelter an