Selecting a guardian for a child can be one of the hardest and most important decisions that a parent can make. Many parents dread thinking about the possibility of someone else raising their children even if it’s a beloved family member.
However, making this decision is one of the most crucial steps in parenting. If both parents die without naming a guardian, a Massachusetts judge will ultimately make the decision. For some families, the best choice may not always be family members.
Qualities to consider before naming a guardian
Parents should assess moral values as well as financial capabilities when making a list of potential guardians. Consider religion, kindness, generosity and other essential values. Will the child be allowed freedom to make some decisions, follow their passions or have access to cultural activities? Parents should consider what qualities are most important, including:
- Are they physically, financially and emotionally stable?
- What would the child’s day and life look like?
- Who would be the primary role model?
- What is their current family structure?
- Where are they located?
- Most importantly, do they love the children?
Steps to take after choosing a guardian
Once parents choose a guardian, they should sit down with them and make sure they are comfortable with the decision, how it would affect their family and what the new family would look like. Discuss how both families’ values fit together as well as the hopes for the child’s future.
An experienced family law attorney here in Massachusetts can make sure parents’ concerns are addressed and find the best solutions for the future care of their children, whether it’s due to death, illness, absence or any other reason.