Guardianship in texas law is a legal relationship that allows one natural or legal person to be responsible for another. There are different types of guardianships. Some are appointed by will, while others are appointed guardians by the Court. Similarly, some guardianships are only over the assets or belongings of a person but not over the person himself.
There will be a guardianship in minors’ specific cases if there is no parental authority over them. That is to say if one of the parents dies and left a will designating a guardian, but one parent remains alive, there will be no guardianship because there is parental authority.
Both parents can appoint a guardian for a minor, an unborn child (nasciturus), or an adult incapable son or daughter, either jointly or individually. This is if both parents die or become incapable of caring for the child and provided that the child is not under the other parent’s parental authority.
If neither parent has appointed a guardian for a minor or if the person who has left an inheritance or legacy has not set one, the guardianship of an unemancipated minor corresponds to the person appointed by the Court from the following, in order of priority, according to the best interest of the minor:
- Any of the grandfathers or grandmothers;
- any brother or sister with the capacity to act;
- any other relative who has maintained stable and continuous relations with the minor;
- a person who has attended or cared for the little person, if needed;
- a natural person recommended by the Secretary of the Family or its officials, if the State holds the custody.
A minor person who has attained ten years of age may decide on the guardian’s appointment. The Court may appoint the person of the minor’s choice if they are suitable and in the child’s best interests.
In such cases, the guardian must accept. The Court always has the authority to see that the guardian will protect the minor’s best welfare before appointing him or her as guardian of the minor or incapacitated person.
The Court shall appoint the guardian so appointed unless:
- it is not in the best interest of the grantor;
- because of inability to exercise the office; or
- because of a significant change in the circumstances that justified the deferred voluntary appointment.
Guardianship ends when:
- the minor becomes an adult
- the incapacity ceases
- by the death of the little, incapacitated person or the guardian
The guardian fails to fulfill some responsibility, such as providing a bond or making an inventory of the minor’s or incapacitated person’s assets. In these cases, after being allowed to be heard, the guardian may be removed. Also, he or she may be liable for damages.
Because a guardianship effectively restricts the ward’s civil rights, the court system strictly administers these legal arrangements. Guardianship in texas law is a complicated and expensive process. Legal counsel can be critical to successfully filing for custody.