In November of last year actor Paul Walker lost his life in a car crash. Now the issue of guardianship of his 15-year-old daughter is in question. Currently the teenager lives with her grandmother — Walker’s mother — as was written in Walker’s will. However, the child’s biological mother is still alive. Despite this, the girl’s mother has not filed any formal requests opposing the child’s guardianship situation. Because of this, both sides hope to create an agreement out-of-court regarding the guardianship of the child. The hearing in court is scheduled for April 30.
Guardianship can be a complicated issue when a parent dies. This is especially so when grandparents wish to have guardianship of the child. A guardian is someone who takes care of and makes decisions on behalf of an individual until the individual is capable of making these decisions and caring for themselves on their own. When it comes to guardianship of a child, this may be the case until the child is 18 years old.
Potential guardians may be the child’s other parent if that parent is still living or the child’s grandparents in some cases. Although the child’s living parent may be considered the first choice for guardianship, one of the main factors the court will consider is the best interest of the child. In some states the child is able to chose their guardian if they are over a statutory “reasonable age.”
Because the law concerning guardianship can be complex, particularly if one of the child’s parents is still alive, it may be useful to consider the advice of a professional. Doing so can be a key factor in assuring a decision is made that is in the best interest of all involved.