How are guardians chosen?
Guardians should always be chosen with the child's best interests in mind. Courts will usually prefer it if the guardian has some kind of connection with the ward, including:
- being chosen by the ward
- a parent or other relative
- a private person or state employee familiar with them
If the child's parents are still alive, they must be deemed unable or unfit to look after their child's interests before a guardian may be appointed. If adoption is not viable at this point, guardianship may be a suitable alternative. Many states allow for children who are fourteen years old or older to select or voice their preference over who will be their guardian.
When does guardianship end?
That depends. If it's due to age, then guardianship may be terminated once the minor reaches that state's age of majority. This isn't always the case, however. If the court finds the ward still requires supervision, it may be reinstated. If the ward dies, guardianship is automatically terminated. If the ward gets married, the guardianship may be terminated.
Of course, guardianship may also be terminated if the current guardian fails to meet their duties. In these cases, a new guardian will be appointed.