What is a Guardianship?
When one is given guardianship, a court grants a person temporary or permanent custody over a minor or otherwise incapacitated individual. A “guardian” is a person (or persons) who is appointed by the court to have the care and custody of the person, or estate, or both, of an “incapacitated” person. Click here to learn about the differences between "custody" and guardianship.
What are some common reasons for Guardianship?
- An adult who is impaired by reason of a disability, such as a mental illness, mental deficiency, or physical illness to the extent that he or she lacks sufficient understanding, or capacity to make or communicate decisions, to meet the essential requirements for his or her health, safety, or to manage his or her estate;
- A minor whose parent(s) are impaired by reason of a disability, such as a mental illness, mental deficiency, or physical illness;
- A minor whose parent(s) are incarcerated;
- A minor whose parent(s) have passed away;
- A minor whose parent(s) have abandoned him or her;
- A minor whose parent(s) fail to properly care for the him or her;
- A minor whose parent(s) are addicted, or who are chronically under the influence, of alcohol, drugs, or (misused) prescriptions medications; or
- A minor when his or her parents consent to the guardianship.
Who can be a Guardian in Arkansas?
Guardians are frequently related to the child, or incapacitated adult; however, a biological relationship is not a legal requirement.
In order to be a guardian in Arkansas, you must: (1) be a resident of the state of Arkansas; (2) be eighteen years of age; (3) be of sound mind; and (4) not be a convicted or unpardoned felon. A non-resident can be appointed as the guardian over an Arkansas resident but must be able to post bond.
Guardianship can be an important and powerful tool for making sure your loved ones are properly cared for.