The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Guardianship of a Minor in DuPage County

 Posted on November 21,2022 in Guardianship

kendall county guardianship lawyerGuardianship of a minor child is a serious responsibility, complete with a host of complexities to consider, including the child’s psychological well-being. When a child is orphaned or neglected, they need a suitable guardian; without one, the child becomes the ward of the state. According to Children’s Home + Aid, over 4,000 children enter the Illinois foster care system annually. Currently, there are more than 16,000 children in Illinois’s foster care system.   A guardianship lawyer can provide legal aid for those who wish to establish guardianship over a minor.

What is Guardianship of a Minor?

The court appoints legal guardians if a child’s parents are deceased, detained, infirm, or unwilling to care for the child. Legal guardianship authorizes an adult to the decision-making and care of a child who is not their own. A child’s guardian does not need to be a blood relative of the child and could include the following.   

  • A willing, suitable adult at least 18 years old, who is of sound mind and not disabled

  • A US resident; however, if the child’s parents are deported, some courts may appoint undocumented immigrants 

  • The potential guardian does not pose a threat to the child and is not a convicted felon

Three Types of Guardianship in Illinois

Plenary guardian – This permanent, long-term guardianship ceases when the child turns 18. A Plenary guardian can only relinquish responsibility if the court rules the parent is capable and willing to care for the child again or if another person wishes to become the guardian. A court can appoint a plenary guardian only if the circumstances meet the following criteria.

  • The child’s parents are deceased.

  • The child’s parents consent to the guardianship.

  • The child’s parents are detained through arrest, removed by the Department of Child Protective Services (DCFS), or deported for immigration violations.

  • The parents are incapable or resistant to daily decision-making for the child.

  • The parents do not return after willingly leaving the child with another adult. 

Standby guardian – A standby guardian is designated by the child’s parent and occurs when that parent can no longer care for the child due to illness, death, or living apart from the child for a long time. Once the following occurs, standby guardianship commences. 

  • The child’s parent dies.

  • The child’s parent consents.

  • The child’s parent is incapable of caring for the child.

  • The child’s parents are arrested, removed, or deported. 

The standby guardian will then be authorized with full guardianship for 60 days, after which they may petition the court for plenary guardianship. 

Short-term guardian – Guardianship for the child can last up to one year and is chosen by the parent. Although there is no need to go to court, a signed agreement must be witnessed by two adults, excluding the short-term guardian. The child’s parent can terminate the short-term guardianship at any time. Unlike a plenary guardian, short-term guardians do not have control over the child’s assets. 

Contact a Guardianship Lawyer in DuPage County 

At The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., committed family law attorney Matthew M. Williams has helped numerous families with guardianship matters. Certified in both collaborative and cooperative law, Matthew M. Williams empathizes with the sensitive nature of guardianship. He evaluates each case, customizes his strategies to his client's needs, and diligently advocates for favorable solutions. If you wish to garner guardianship over a loved one who is a minor, contact an Aurora guardianship attorney at 630-409-8184.



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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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