This section explains who can become legal guardian of a child under the Kinship Guardianship Act, and what conditions must be in place in order for a judge to appoint a person as kinship guardian of a child.
If the judge appoints you as temporary legal guardian of a child the guardianship will remain in effect for six months. If you are appointed as the child’s legal guardian and the order does not state that the guardianship is temporary, the guardianship will last until the child turns 18 or until a judge revokes the guardianship.
To become the legal guardian of a child whose parents are not deceased you must file a Petition for Kinship Guardianship in the district court where you and the child live. For more detailed information about the legal process call the Guardianship Legal Helpline: in the Albuquerque area call (505) 217-1660; Statewide call 1-833-355-6944.
Yes. In order to be appointed as the legal guardian of a child you must file a petition with the court. If the child’s parents agree you can have them sign a consent form and file it with the court, but you must still go through the court proceeding become the child’s legal guardian.
Yes, under certain conditions you can be appointed kinship guardian of a child even if the child’s parents do not agree. Those conditions are:
The child has been living with you for at least 90 days AND
The parent who objects to the guardianship has not lived in the home with you during that time AND You are able to prove to the judge that the parent is unable or unwilling to provide proper care for the child AND It is in the child’s best interests that you be appointed as her kinship guardian.
If you and the parent or parents agree that it is time to revoke the guardianship you can file a motion with the court asking to have the guardianship revoked. The judge will most likely want you to appear in court to explain why revocation of the guardianship is in the child’s best interests.
If you believe that your grandchild is at risk of abuse and/or neglect you should call the police or child protective services. The process of getting legal guardianship of a child usually takes at least 90 days. Under certain circumstances you may be able to file for guardianship on an emergency basis. Call the Guardianship Legal Helpline: in the Albuquerque area call (505) 217-1660; Statewide call 1-833-355-6944.
You do not need a lawyer to apply for guardianship. You can go to your local district court and ask for the forms to file for kinship guardianship of a child, you may also access the forms here, or you can call the Guardianship Legal Helpline. The Guardianship Legal Helpline can help you determine if you want to file by yourself, and if you do, help you with questions and the paperwork. In the Albuquerque area call (505) 217-1660; Statewide call 1-833-355-6944.
Yes. There are two agencies in New Mexico that specialize in helping grandparents and others get kinship guardianship of children living with them. Pegasus Legal Services for Children provides legal representation in guardianship cases where one or more of the parents does not agree to the guardianship. Call the Guardianship Legal Helpline to get more information and find out which agency is the right one to help you. In the Albuquerque area call (505) 217-1660; Statewide call 1-833-355-6944.
The Guardianship Legal Helpline conducts intakes for Pegasus Legal Services for Children kinship guardianship Program. The Guardianship Legal Helpline provides information, advice, help with self-representation, and referrals for extended legal representation. Please leave a voicemail if the call is not answered right away.
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$10.00 a week
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provides the funds for an attorney to provide full legal representation in an uncontested guardianship case.
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