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High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Can I Become My Sibling’s Legal Guardian in Illinois?

Posted on in Guardianships

Hillside guardianship attorneyEvery child deserves to live in a loving household, with the ideal goal being two loving parents who can care for them. In today’s world, however, this is not always the case. Some families have single parents, others have blended households, and some children lose their parents at a young age. If a child’s parents die unexpectedly, and a Will that outlines those parents’ wishes was not  prepared,,  a  court will need to determine what the next best course of action will be regarding who will take care of the child. Throughout the U.S., anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor and must have a legal guardian caring for them. For some children, this  could require another family member taking care of them , while for other children, foster care may be their only option. 

Determining Legal Guardianship

Older children who have a younger sibling will often seek to become their legal guardian and thereby keep their brother or sister outside of the foster care system. While this is an admirable goal, it is not always feasible, and it is ultimately up to a  court to make this decision. It may seem like the obvious choice to keep siblings together, but there are a number of circumstances that must be considered before the court will allow this arrangement to become legally enforceable. According to Illinois law, a legal guardian must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years of age;

  • A resident of the United States;

  • Of sound mind and not under legal disability;

  • Never convicted of a felony; and,

  • Capable of providing an active and suitable plan for  guardianship

While meeting the first four requirements may not be challenging, the ultimate consideration for a  court is placing the child in a situation that meets their needs. Those who lose parents at a young age are, unfortunately, forced to grow up quickly, but maturity does not always    equate to meeting the expectations of the court.

Supporting a Sibling

Similar to  a parent, a sibling who is petitioning a court to become their sister or brother’s legal guardian must be able to properly provide for the child—physically, emotionally and financially. This can be difficult to handle at a young age, especially after  recently losing a parent. In order to determine whether allowing a sibling to act as a legal guardian is in the best interest of the minor, a   court will consider the following:

  • The interaction and relationship between the minor and the petitioner;

  • The ability of the petitioner to provide a safe, supportive environment for the minor;

  • The stability of the petitioner and the minor;

  • The minor’s ability to adjust to their home, school, and community; and,

  • The length of time that the minor has been in the petitioner’s care

Contact an Oak Park, IL Guardianship Lawyer

Petitioning to become your sibling’s legal guardian is often only done when it is a   last option. Gaining legal custody of another person is no easy task, but seeing your sibling being put  into  the custody of some state agency is often even more difficult. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. has 33 years of experience  helping numerous families during some of their most challenging times. Whether you have recently lost your parents, or just believe that becoming your sibling’s legal guardian is best for their health and safety,  Mr. Machroli will help guide you through the petitioning process and fight for your sibling’s best interests. If you are considering petitioning for guardianship, contact our Hillside guardianship attorney at 708-449-7404 to schedule your free consultation.



Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjEgfio6r7tAhXMQs0KHbcXDdEQFjALegQIHRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakecountycircuitclerk.org%2Fdocs%2Fdefault-source%2Fprobate%2Fguardianship-of-minor-info-packet-171p-254-(rev-12-17).pdf%3Fsfvrsn%3D4&usg=AOvVaw3yIXQ9I5aakEPLdAuSrGK6

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