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Call us at: (505) 881-2566
2727 San Pedro NE • Suite 114 • Albuquerque, NM 87110

Guardianship of Minor Children vs. Guardian ad Litem

A guardian is someone who takes care of a child’s needs. These needs include shelter, education, food and medical care, as well as managing the child’s finances. If you are seeking guardianship of a child or you are seeking a guardian ad litem to represent your child during divorce, custody or kinship guardianship proceedings, NM Divorce & Custody Law LLC in Albuquerque, NM can help.

Ms. Mary Ann R. Burmester has been helping families solve problems and obtain legal guardianship for over 25 years. With her legal experience and guidance, you will be able to explore your options for this request.

How do Guardianships Differ from Adoptions?

A guardianship is a legal relationship between a minor child and a guardian that gives the guardian certain rights and obligations regarding the child. A guardianship does not permanently end the legal relationship between a child and his or her biological parents; instead, the guardian takes over the role of the parent until a guardian is no longer needed to protect the child’s best interest.

An adoption, on the other hand, permanently alters the legal relationship between a child and his or her biological parents. The adopted parents become the legal parents and the biological parents give up all parental rights and obligations. This means the biological parents no longer have a right to raise the child or owe child support, and the child can no longer automatically inherent from his or her biological parents.

How do Guardianships End?

There are several events that can trigger the end of a guardianship. These events include:

  • The death of the child
  • The child reaches the legal age of majority (typically 18 years old in most states)
  • A judge determines that a guardianship is no longer necessary or beneficial for the child
  • The sole purpose of the guardianship was to manage the child’s finances, and the child’s financial assets are exhausted

Guardians can also ask a court to be relieved of his or her guardianship, at which point the court will appoint a new guardian.

Guardian ad Litem

A “guardian ad litem” is a court-appointed representative who stands in the shoes of the minor during court proceedings that involve the minor in some way. In New Mexico the guardian ad litem is a lawyer. This is common in divorces and disputes regarding custody of children when the parents are not married to each other or any other situation where the court determines the minor cannot successfully represent his or herself.

Guardian to Non-Biological Children

If you are planning on taking care of a child you live with on a long-term basis, but this child isn’t biologically yours, you should consider becoming a legal guardian. Without guardianship, you will have difficulty getting medical care for the child, enrolling him or her in school, as well as many other problems. Guardianship creates a legal right, giving you say in the child’s future as a guardian, whereas a mere caretaker would not have.

Reasons against Guardianship

There are many good reasons a person would not want to become a guardian. Filing for guardianship could set off a dispute you may want to avoid for both the child’s sake and yours. You might also know the child’s biological parents would object and make the guardianship process extremely difficult.

You can still raise a child without guardianship, but you will have significant difficulties in doing so. Many institutions such as hospitals and schools require parental authorization. Each state has different rules, so research your state’s laws to reveal any potential problems you might have.

Family Law Attorney in Albuquerque, NM

If you are seeking more information about guardianship of a minor child or seeking a guardian ad litem for a child as you go through a divorce case, Ms. Mary Ann R. Burmester at NM Divorce & Custody Law LLC in Albuquerque can help. Ms. Burmester has been helping families seeking legal custody or guardianship of a child for over 25 years and can help you through the process as you take on this responsibility. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to learn more about legal guardianship.

Call NM Divorce & Custody Law LLC at 505-881-2566 in Albuquerque for more information about legal guardianship and acquiring a guardian ad litem.
We help families solve problems.

Mary Ann Burmester helps families in the Greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas as well as all over New Mexico, no matter the county you live in. NM Divorce & Custody Law LLC helps New Mexicans in all 33 counties, including Bernalillo, Catron, Chavez, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Doña Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, Sandoval, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union and Valencia
We help families solve problems

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I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.
2017-03-31T16:04:38+00:00
I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could...
2017-03-31T16:22:11+00:00
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could have imagined.  I never once felt that you were working without my best interests in mind and contrary to my ex-husband’s experience, the expenses incurred were reasonable and fair, and I believe you were diligent about not incurring additional costs unless they were absolutely necessary.   A.N.

The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when...
2017-04-03T10:55:47+00:00
The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when I just couldn’t find the strength to open emails because it was so painful to read has defined a new beginning for me.  I am back in NM and I will never look back thinking that he got the best of me, because you kept your promise to me and because I am doing it; I am living life again!D.A. D.A.

Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional,...
2017-04-03T10:56:15+00:00
Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional, reliable and honest. I found that at NM Divorce & Custody and can’t express how fortunate I felt to have had Mary Ann Burmester’s representation in what I thought was going to be a quick divorce. Mary Ann is sharp, knowledgeable and honest. She gave me recommendations that I felt comfortable in taking and I never felt her representation didn’t have my best interests in mind. Mary Ann was an excellent advocate when my husband’s lawyer was requesting things from me that were completely unnecessary and had no purpose other than escalating expenses. She and her team were on top of things from day one, leaving me no doubt I’d made the right choice. I’d recommend them to absolutely anyone. A.B.

I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in...
2017-04-03T10:56:42+00:00
I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in my life, your team made me feel supported not just legally but with your concern. Ms. Burmester is an amazing women and attorney her and your firm have my highest recommendation!!   C.S.