Happy young family, father, mother, and daughter - example of clients for family law services - Highland, IL

Family Law Attorneys Serving Madison, Bond, Clinton, and St. Clair Counties in Illinois

Here at Kovach Law, PC, family law refers to the guardianship and adoption of children. The difference between these two terms is that when you adopt a child, you freely take on the role of a parent for a minor child under the age of 18; you are their parent and are responsible for them. When you are deemed a guardian, the court has appointed you to be responsible for the minor. Most of the time, this happens when a family member passes, and their children need someone to fulfill the parent role.

Smiling mother with her adopted son - Highland, IL

What is a Legal Guardian in Highland, IL?

The state of Illinois deems that a legal guardian is “a person, institution or agency appointed by the probate court to manage the affairs of another, called the ‘ward.’”

Being a guardian is not a simple role that can be taken lightly. Sometimes you are appointed to be the guardian of a minor by the probate court. Other times, you are chosen by the minor themselves. Your primary job as a guardian is to help manage their affairs, including monetary, educational, legal, and anything else that may come up. You are the manager of the minor’s affairs until the age of 18. Once a minor becomes an adult, they are usually able to take on these responsibilities themselves. In some cases, a guardian can also be appointed to a person who is not a minor.

Such cases include Mental Deterioration, Mental Illness, Physical Incapacity, and Developmental Disability.

The Guardian Process

Even though a person is over the age of 18, the circuit court can still appoint a guardian when an individual has some mental or physical disability. To obtain legal guardianship:

  • A physician must outline the nature of the individual’s disability, provide reasons for guardianship, and recommend living arrangements for the individual.
  • Legal representation is used to help obtain guardianship through the legal process.
  • A court-appointed guardian or ad litem is appointed to advise the court on the individual need of a guardian. It is the responsibility of the ad litem to act in the best interest of the client.
  • Various documents must be prepared for the court. These documents include the right notice, petition, notice of interested parties, order, bond,  oath, statement, and law.
  • Once all these documents are prepared, the next step is the hearing that will be set for this process to move forward.
guardianship, agreeing to take care and responsibility of loved one with disabilities - Highland, IL
Happy couple playing in the park with their adopted daughter, smiling and laughing together - Highland, IL

How Adoption Works

It is always a wonderful time to see a family grow. Whether a couple cannot have a biological child or they have chosen to create a family through adoption, it is a fulfilling option for many. After completing the adoption process, you will be responsible for the new addition to your family.

Smiling mother with her adopted daughter laughing in her arms - Highland, IL

To be eligible to adopt a child, you must:

  • Have lived in Illinois for six months
  • Have an excellent reputation with the community you live in
  • Not have a disability

To be eligible to be adopted, you must:

  • Be authorized by a court that has consented to the adoption
  • Be placed in the custody of the prospective parents by the biological parents
  • Have been surrendered to an adoption agency, with consent from biological parents
concept image of adult and child's hands holding a paper cut out of a family.