Guardianships can become necessary when an adult or child needs someone to protect them physically, mentally and financially. A child may need a guardian if his or her parents pass away or cannot provide care. An elderly person may need a guardian if he or she cannot make critical decisions or communicate wishes.
Considering the difficult circumstances under which the courts may appoint a guardian, it may not be surprising that some cases become contentious over the need for a guardian or the appointment of a specific guardian. In these situations, someone may contest guardianship.
Contesting a guardianship
Guardianship disputes can arise when a ward or other concerned parties feels that a guardian is not fulfilling his or her duties properly. In such cases, the courts may remove a guardian and issue fines and other penalties if he or she:
- Did not comply with court orders
- Failed to file required reports
- Abused or neglected the ward
- Moved away
- Does not make decisions in the ward’s best interests
If someone feels guardianship is no longer necessary, he or she may petition the courts to remove a guardian or terminate guardianship for certain reasons. In cases involving an adult ward in Colorado, these reasons could include relocation, improvement in the ward’s health, or death.
Should I contest guardianship?
Contesting guardianship can be a complicated and contentious process. This can be especially true if the guardian is a family member. Asserting that he or she is acting improperly or failing to protect the ward’s best interests are serious accusations that courts do not take lightly.
That said, removal of a guardian can be crucial in protecting someone who is being mistreated, neglected or manipulated at the hands of the person who is supposed to protect them.
Because this is a significant and potentially divisive issue, it can be wise to have legal support and guidance if you wish to contest guardianship. Such assistance can help you assess your options as well as the potential solutions, allowing you to make informed, careful decisions.