You Need Evidence That the Children Are Uncared For
Video Transcribed: How do I get guardianship over my grandchild in the state of Oklahoma? I’m James Wirth, a lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and that is the question that we have.
All right, so you’ve got a circumstance where you’re a grandparent and you’re worried about and concerned about your grandchildren that perhaps are being neglected or abused, not being properly cared for, and you believe that you would be a better person to care for them. So first off, we’ve got to note that parents have a constitutional right to the care and custody of the children. So that must be overcome. But that can be overcome if the parents are unfit or unavailable to care for the children.
So what you would do is you would file a petition for guardianship in your local county court where the child is residing, generally speaking, but could be where you’re residing depending on the circumstances. You want to talk about that for your specific circumstances. And then you want to note how the child is not being properly cared for, how the parents are unfit. Is the child being neglected? How so? Are the parents unavailable? How so? And if you can demonstrate that the parents are unfit or unavailable, then it is incumbent on the court to grant that guardianship and give you care and custody or somebody who is a better preference for that.
But grandparents are at the top of the preference list when we’re talking about who should have guardianship if a guardianship is needed. And certainly, everybody wants to avoid kids going into state custody in order to protect them. So it’s nice when you have a family member, particularly grandparents stepping up to take on that role when it’s needed. So how do you go about doing that?
Generally speaking, you want to talk to an attorney who can evaluate your specific circumstances, determine the appropriate jurisdiction, and know if you have enough to demonstrate unfitness. And then paperwork can be drafted, filed with the court, set for hearing, and ultimately get that done. Under the right circumstance, you can do a guardianship on an emergency basis or a special basis to get an order quickly in order to protect the children, and then it’ll be set for a general guardianship later. If there’s not an emergency, then you can just file for general guardianship.
So here’s some general information related to getting guardianship in Oklahoma if you are a grandparent. But if you’re dealing with this circumstance, you’re going to want to know more than just this limited advice in this video. You’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially to discuss your case. To do that with an Oklahoma guardianship attorney at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.