Guardianship is a legal status that gives someone authority to make decisions for another person. A person with a guardian is usually called a ward. Parents are, among other things, guardians of their children. Most of the time, guardianship is assumed and courts are not involved. There are certain situations, however, that do require court involvement. Perhaps the most frequent is when a parent becomes so physically ill or mentally unstable they can no longer make choices for themselves. Another frequently experienced situation is when aging parents are unable to care for an intellectually-impaired child, so a sibling must take over custody responsibilities.
In these situations, Utah allows a guardian to be appointed. Petitioning for guardianship in Utah is a lengthy process, and many times more than one person will claim guardianship, or someone will object to another becoming guardian. When this happens, guardianship is contested and courts become involved. At this point, there are effectively two ways to resolve a guardianship dispute: (1) by mediation, or (2) by litigation.
There are a number of advantages to mediating Utah guardianship disputes:
- The parties, not a judge (who knows nothing of the parties’ family), directly control the process and outcome
- Mediation is confidential, so private family disputes will not be “aired” to the public
- Mediation minimizes conflict and helps heal and preserve family relationships
- Mediation is quicker than litigation
- Mediation costs less
- Families are more satisfied with mediated agreements than court orders
Of course, mediating guardianship disputes is not something to take lightly. Your mediator should have guardianship experience, and it is wise to have an experienced mediation attorney with you through the mediation process.
Are You Experiencing a Guardianship Dispute in Utah? Contact Brown Law
Brown Law is a guardianship law firm that serves those in Salt Lake City and all of Utah. Attorney Marco Brown is an experienced Salt Lake City guardianship lawyer, a private guardian ad litem, and Utah trained mediator. He is always ready to mediate guardianship issues at his reasonable rate. Likewise, Brown Law has helped many people navigate the mediation process and successfully resolve their contested guardianship disputes. Contact us online or call 801-685-9999 or 800-299-1016 for your free guardianship consultation, or to schedule a guardianship mediation.
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