Legal guardianship of a child can be granted to someone when a court believes the child will have a better life with the person seeking guardianship. Whenever possible, Oklahoma courts prefer to keep a child with their parents. For this reason, guardianship will only be awarded if it seems necessary.
Examples of necessary situations include:
- Enrolling a child in school;
- Authorizing care for a child (childcare, medical treatment, or use of food stamps); or
- Receiving state-awarded benefits.
File a Petition for Guardianship
Required by Oklahoma law, you must file a verified petition to a state court.
This petition must include the:
- Name of the county you are filing your petition;
- Name of the person you will be a co-guardian with (if applicable);
- Full name of each child;
- Birthdate of each child (day, month, year);
- Social Security number of each child;
- Child’s current address;
- City and state the child has lived in for the past 5 years;
- Name(s) of people who the child has lived with for the past 5 years;
- Evidence of any other court proceedings the child might be involved in;
- Evidence the child is a member of a Native American tribe and, if so, the name of the tribe;
- Evidence a parent is in the military;
- Full legal names of the child’s parents;
- Full addresses of the child’s parents (if available);
- Proof all applicants have gone through a fingerprint-based background check;
- Proof all applicants have gone through an Oklahoma state background check; and
- Proof all applicants have not been convicted of child abuse and neglect.
Request a Guardianship Hearing
Once you submit your petition for guardianship, you must request a hearing from an Oklahoma judge. You must also send a notice of the hearing within 10 days prior by mail.
This notice must be mailed to:
- the living parents;
- the living grandparents who are not related to you;
- any adult relative in the county where the petition is filed;
- the child (if they are over the age of 14); or
- the child’s tribe affiliation and the BIA Regional Office (if the child is of Native American descent).
At the hearing, you must provide evidence and any witnesses to illustrate why you would be the ideal guardian to the child.
A judge looks for confirmation that you have:
- a plan for care and treatment of the child;
- created an inventory of the child’s assets and reported it to the court with an estimated value (if the child has a trust); or
- detailed information about a child’s health, school progress, or other types of treatment care for the child.
Our Guardianship Attorney Can Help
It can be extremely challenging for a person to gain legal guardianship over a child. Our family attorney is passionate about each of our client’s situations and will aggressively fight for your legal rights.
Call our firm today at (918) 992-3300 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.