top of page

Guardianship Lawyers - Joliet, IL

When our loved ones are unable to care for themselves, it may be necessary for a Guardianship.  In Illinois, it is possible to have a Guardianship over minor children or disabled adults.

Guardianship for Minor Children

A Guardian for Minor Children has the legal rights to care for the children if their parents are unable or unwilling.  These individuals carry out the day-to-day role and make decisions necessary to raise the child.

Who can serve as a Guardian for Minor Children?

A person is qualified to act as a Guardian of a minor child(ren) provided that they are over the age of 18, a resident of the United States, are not of unsound mind, are not an adjudicated disabled person; and have not been convicted of a felony.

What is the process for becoming a Guardian for a Minor Child?

A person seeking to become a Guardian of a Minor Child must Petition the court. The court may also appoint a guardian over the person or the estate of a minor child. Guardianship over the person allows a person to make decisions on behalf of a child by assuming a parental role. Guardianship over the estate of a minor child allows the guardian control over the financial assets of a child.

The Court may not appoint a Guardian over the minor child if there is a living parent, an adoptive parent, or an adjudicated parent who is ready, willing, and able to make day-to-day child care decisions. A Guardian may be appointed if the parent is ready, willing and able, if the parent consents to the guardianship.   

What are the Types of Guardianship for Minor Children?

A standby Guardian is a person who becomes a guardian over a minor child when certain conditions occur such as the death of a child’s parents or current guardian.

A short-term guardian is a person who becomes a guardian over a minor child on a temporary basis during an emergency situation.  A short-term guardian may be appointed for a period of up to a year.

Both a standby or short term guardian may be designated by a parent.  However, parent may not designate a short term or standby guardian when there is another parent whose whereabouts are known and who is ready, willing and able to assume day-to-day care of a minor child. 

How can a Guardianship be Terminated?

Sometimes the circumstances that led to a Guardianship being enacted change. A parent who at one time agreed to a Guardianship may find that the Guardian refuses to relinquish control. In other cases, a parent who was once not ready, willing, or able to parent rehabilitates. In these circumstances, upon the showing of a substantial change in circumstances, the court can terminate the Guardianship. The court will also consider the best interests of the minor child in determining whether the guardianship should be terminated. Some of the factors the court will use to determine whether terminating the guardianship is in the child’s best interest are: 

(1) the interaction and interrelationship of the minor with the parent and members of the parent’s household;

(2) the ability of the parent to provide a safe, nurturing environment for the minor;

(3) the relative stability of the parties and the minor;

(4) the minor’s adjustment  to his or her home, school, and community , including the length of time that the minor has lived with the parent and the guardian;

(5) The nature and extent of visitation between the parent and the minor and the guardians’ ability and willingness to facilitate visitation. 

The Attorneys at Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation are exceptionally skilled at all aspects of Guardianships of Minor Children, including, obtaining a Guardianship when a parent is unwilling or unable to care for their minor child. The Attorneys at Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation are also capable of terminating Guardianship when it is no longer appropriate. 

Guardianship for Disabled Adults

Sometimes a parent or other loved one can no longer care for themselves.  If an adult is incapacitated and cannot make decisions concerning their financials, medical treatment or day-to-day care, a Guardian can be appointed to make these decisions on their behalf.

What are the types of Guardianship for Disabled Adults?

Standby GuardianA Standby Guardian is a person who may be designated by writing to be the guardian of over the person, estate, or both of a disabled person.

A Short-Term Guardian is a person who may be designated as the Guardian over  the person, estate, or both of a disabled person. A short-term guardian is permitted to act for a cumulative period of 60 days over any 12 month period. 

A Temporary Guardian is a Guardianship is a person who has limited powers and duties over the person and estate for up to 60 days until a regular Guardian is appointed or it expires.

Who may Act as a Guardian of a Disabled Adult?

A person is qualified to act as a Guardian of a Disabled Adult provided that they are over the age of 18, a resident of the United States, are not of unsound mind, are not an adjudicated disabled person; and have not been convicted for a felony.

Where should a Petition for Guardian of a Disabled Adult be brought?

A Petition for Guardianship may be brought in the county in which the alleged disabled adult resides or the county where the disabled real or personal property exists.

What is required to prove that an Adult is Disabled?

In order to prove that an adult is disabled, the request for Guardianship must contain a report from a Physician that details:

(1) the description of the nature and type of the respondent’s disability and an assessment of how the disability impacts on the ability of the respondent to make decisions or to function independently;

(2) an analysis and results of evaluations of the respondent’s mental and physical condition and, where appropriate, educational condition, adaptive behavior and social skills which have been performed within 3 months of the date of filing of the petition; 

(3) an opinion as to whether guardianship is needed, the type and scope of the guardianship needed and reasons, therefor;

(4) a recommendation as to the most suitable living arrangement and,

(5) the name, business address, business telephone number and signatures of all persons who performed the evaluations upon which the report is based.  At least one of the individuals must be a licensed physician.

What is Guardianship of the Person?

Guardianship over the person refers to the ability to make decisions affecting the care, support, comfort, health, education, maintenance, and professional services of the disabled adult.

What is Guardianship of the Estate?

Guardianship over the estate refers to the ability of the guardian to manage the disabled adults finances.


Our attorneys at Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation are well qualified to guide you through the process of obtaining Guardianship of a disabled adult.

bottom of page