I’m James Wirth, an attorney in Tulsa. Power of Attorney for custody and guardianship are two concepts that are often confused. Although both legal arrangements allow a third party to make decisions for a child, they differ in several ways. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Power of Attorney for custody and guardianship in Oklahoma.
Power of Attorney for Custody
Power of Attorney for custody is a relatively new concept in Oklahoma, introduced in 2014. It allows a parent or legal custodian to delegate decision-making authority to a third party by signing a Power of Attorney template provided in the statute. The recipient of the Power of Attorney can make decisions on behalf of the child, except for decisions related to marriage, adoption, abortion, or termination of parental rights. The Power of Attorney can be executed outside of court with the proper paperwork, and it lasts for a maximum of one year.
Guardianship, on the other hand, is a court proceeding that involves filing with the court and giving notice to interested parties. The court reviews the case, holds a hearing, and determines whether to enter guardianship based on the best interests of the child. When guardianship is entered, decision-making authority and legal custody are vested in the guardians, and the parents or legal custodians lose their decision-making authority. However, guardianship does not terminate parental rights, and it can be terminated later.
The main differences between Power of Attorney for custody and guardianship are:
– Power of Attorney can be executed outside of court with the proper paperwork, while guardianship requires a court proceeding.
– Power of Attorney lasts for a maximum of one year and must be renewed annually, while guardianship can go on indefinitely.
– Power of Attorney does not take away decision-making authority from the parents or legal custodians, while guardianship does.
– Power of Attorney can be terminated at any time by the legal custodian, while guardianship must be terminated by the court.
Getting Legal Advice
If you are unsure whether to choose Power of Attorney for custody or guardianship, it’s best to seek legal advice from a child custody lawyer in Oklahoma. At our office, we can provide you with expert legal guidance based on your specific circumstances. To schedule a free consultation, please visit our website at MakeLawEasy.com.