How to Write an Affidavit for Guardianship

By Brenna Davis

Guardianship is a legal relationship in which an adult is responsible for the care and decision-making of someone who cannot care for himself. Although the term "guardian" is most frequently used with regard to being the guardian of children, guardianship affidavits are typically reserved for professionals, such as doctors and social workers, who are petitioning to have a guardian appointed for elderly or disabled persons. However, a guardianship affidavit may also be used by witnesses in court proceedings, particularly child custody disputes. The specific wording you use in your affidavit will vary depending upon your situation and jurisdiction. If you're not sure what you need to convey, consult a lawyer or your local laws.

Basic Formatting

An affidavit is a signed, sworn document containing facts to which the affiant can competently testify. The affidavit should be filed in the court that handles guardianship and family law in the county where the person in need of a guardian resides or, if there are already court proceedings, in the court where those proceedings are taking place. At the top of the affidavit, provide a "Re" field followed by the person's name. This makes it easier for the court clerk to identify the case you are writing about. Then state your name and number the paragraphs, with each paragraph containing a factual claim. Have the affidavit notarized and sign the affidavit in front of a notary.

Affidavits From Professionals

Doctors, social workers and mental health professionals should provide their credentials at the beginning of the affidavit and explain why they are competent to assess the person's need for a guardian. Explain how long you have been treating the person, behaviors you have witnessed and recommendations you have given the patient. Avoid speculation about the person or their family's motives or feelings. This will undermine your credibility and affidavits are equivalent to courtroom testimony, so it's important that all the facts contained in them can be verified.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More

Affidavits From Witnesses

If you are a witness or petitioner in a guardianship proceeding, you may need to file an affidavit explaining why the person needs a guardian or why you are a suitable guardian. Explain how long you have known the person, what your relationship is and why your recommendations are in the person's best interest. In child custody proceedings, every state has a "best interests of the child" standard, so it's important for affidavits in these proceedings to focus on the needs of the child and how to meet those needs.

Abuse Cases

In child and elder abuse cases, a guardianship affidavit is frequently required from a professional who has witnessed or suspects the abuse. After court proceedings begin, affidavits testifying to the abuse and to the best interest of the person suspected of being abused are also frequently required. In these affidavits, it's vitally important to stick to verifiable facts. Rather than saying, for example, "I know Jane Doe is an abuse victim because she is fearful," say, "Jane Doe has many of the symptoms of abuse, which include x, y and z." If you have witnessed the abuse, be sure to note times, dates and specific circumstances. For lay witnesses, avoid making medical speculations. Instead, list your experiences with the person and what you have witnessed.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
How Do I Get Legal Guardianship in Missouri?


Related articles

Must I Have My Will Notorized in Michigan for it to Be Legal?

A will must be signed by the testator, or the person who made the will, and at least two witnesses who saw the testator sign, in all 50 states, including Michigan, according to FindLaw. Notarization is not required in Michigan, but a notarized will may be accepted as "self-proving," potentially making probate proceedings easier for those you leave behind.

How Can a Guardian Ad Litem Be Removed in Virginia?

A guardian ad litem is a legal term which specifies that an individual has been appointed to act on behalf of another individual -- typically, this is a child, although it may be others who cannot act on their own behalf. In Virginia, a guardian ad litem must be an attorney licensed in Virginia and in good standing with the Virginia State Bar. The guardian ad litem also must have completed a required training course. Guardians ad litem are instructed to work in the best interests of the person whom they represent, and courts view the recommendations of the guardian ad litem as significant. Given the sensitivity of the position, if the guardian ad litem is not representing the best interest of the person for whom he is appointed -- or, if other problems arise -- a process exists to remove the guardian ad litem.

How to File for Custody of a Minor in Mobile, Alabama

Custody disputes commonly arise as the result of divorce or paternity proceedings. The Alabama legislature has enacted laws governing petitions for custody, and custody proceedings are heard by judges in the Alabama family court system. In Mobile, parents must petition the family court in the 13th Judicial Circuit. Before seeking custody of a child, you should ensure that you are able to provide loving, competent care. In most cases, the child will do best if given liberal visitation with the other parent. Except in cases of abuse, children are frequently given time with both parents.


Related articles

What Is the Purpose of an Affidavit in a Custody Case?

An affidavit is a specific type of legal document filed by people who have information relevant to a court matter. ...

How to Become a Guardian of a Mentally Disabled Child in Texas

Parents are the natural guardians of their children ("guardian of the person"), and they are authorized to make all ...

Legal Guardianship in Nebraska

Nebraska law recognizes that certain people cannot take care of themselves because of their age or mental condition. ...

Missouri Statute on Guardianship

A legal guardian's relationship to a ward, who can be a minor or a disabled or incapacitated adult, is analogous to a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED