A woman in Georgia is expecting a baby but is going through a lot. She does not want to abort the baby although she could. She and her husband are going through a divorce and things are very unstable for her. Both she and her husband would like to give temporary legal guardianship to another family for a while so she can sort things out. The family acting as legal guardian is willing and able to take care of the baby for a while, although in NY State rather than in Georgia. Since all parties are in agreement on this, can birth parents execute this legal guardianship with a notarized statement saying they are giving temporary legal guardianship/Power of Attorney to this other family for a while until she sort things out? Or does the Court need to get involved?
This should be handled by a Voluntary Temporary Guardianship in the Probate Court where the parents live. The Probate Courts in Georgia are very user friendly, and provide forms for everything. An attorney is not necessary, but could make it a little smoother for you. Either way, the new legal guardian will have to appear in court to take the oath.
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
No. Custody cannot be done by documents; it needs a court order. Absent that court order the "guardian" cannot do basic things like authorize medical care so it is very dangerous to attempt shortcuts. The good news is a temporary guardianship, done in probate court with everyone's consent, is simple. The court provides forms. Because of the gravity of the situation, it would be wise to do a consultation with a lawyer. Note that the guardian must appear once in court to be sworn in.
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A change of custody must be evaluated by a court and a determination of the best interest of the child.
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