In 2019, the Legislature adopted the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and other Protective Arrangements Act (UGA). It repealed existing laws on state guardianship and replaced them with the UGA. It also repealed existing law on nonparental actions for child custody.
Basis for Appointment of a Guardian for a Minor. A person becomes a guardian for a minor only on appointment by the court. A court may appoint a guardian for a minor if the court finds the appointment is in the minor's best interest, and:
The following provisions of law related to a minor guardianship are changed:
PRO: The minor guardianship has been in effect just over a year and there are some improvements that stakeholders recommend that everyone can support. It clarifies several areas of law. It provides relief for users of the law and the judges who implement it. The new guardianship law has helped youth to stabilize their lives. The emergency guardianship component is important for seeking an order during a crisis situation. We use this tool for minors whose immediate health and safety is at risk. Courts have been hesitant to order an emergency guardianship if someone with legal authority is willing to take the minor even if they present a significant safety concern to the youth. This bill would require courts to analyze a person's ability to prevent substantial harm to the minor's health, safety, or welfare. A motion for the appointment of an emergency guardianship can also be filed with a regular guardianship petition instead of requiring two separate petitions to be filed.