Guardianship in New Jersey is a process where you file a petition before a surrogate judge to get guardianship of your adult children with special needs. The Susan Clark Law Group helps families obtain guardianship for their adult children or siblings who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
What Is an Adult Child?
Once a child turns 18, parents lose their ability to help their adult children with special needs. For example, the doctor’s office may not permit you to make an appointment or share medical information with you. When your child with special needs turns 18, you lose your parental rights and must be established as a “guardian” in order to continue to care for your adult child.
The law calls these adult children “incapacitated.” These adult children with special needs should have someone to be their guardian. In essence, this court order ensures their parents have the rights, powers, and authority that they had when their child was a minor.
The goal is to begin the process at least six months before the child’s 18th birthday to ensure we can prepare your petition, certification of doctors, and file a brief and get everything completed in time for the child’s 18th birthday. If you have not obtained a guardianship and your child is 19, 20, or older, do not worry, we can always file a petition for guardianship.
At Susan Clark Law Group, LLC, we work hard to get the guardianship petition completed seamlessly, and at times, it may not even be necessary for you to appear in court. We want the process to be easy for you so you can concentrate on more important things – your children. Contact us at 732-637-5248 for a free consultation.
Questions About Obtaining Guardianship for Adult Children:
Will I need to appear in court?
We are able to handle many matters without having you appear in court.
Will anyone question my child?
Yes, the court will appoint an independent attorney to complete an investigation and prepare a report to the Surrogate Judge on whether the petition should be granted.
Will there be an investigation?
Yes, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), county adjusters office, and the court-appointed attorney will review bank records, Social Security records, and DDD records to ensure the guardianship petition is appropriate.
What is the timing of the petition for guardianship?
Like anything else, the process has a number of factors such as the court’s schedule and the ability of your attorney to get the petition and brief completed in a timely manner. It can take anywhere from 60 days to six months, depending upon the complexity of the petition.
Can I have a payment plan to hire an attorney to handle this matter?
Yes. Susan Clark Law Group, LLC, is always willing to work with families with special needs relatives.