Tutorship Lawyer in St. Tammany Parish
Dedicated to Helping You & Your Children
Tutorship is what other states refer to as guardianship. Tutorship is most often required when a child’s parents get divorced or one or both of the child’s parents dies. In the latter case, establishing tutorship can be an important step in estate planning.
There are four types of tutorship in Louisiana:
- Natural tutorship occurs when parents get divorced or one parent dies. When a parent dies, the surviving parent is the rightful tutor of the minor child. Upon divorce, parents with custody are considered the natural tutor or tutors of the child.
- Tutorship by will occurs when the last surviving parent dies with a will or other document naming another person as a child’s tutor. This appointment is commonly made in the will of the parent, but it can be achieved through a separate document.
- Tutorship by law occurs after both parents have died and have failed to name a tutor by will or other document. The court chooses from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives of the child to name as tutor based on whom the court believes is best equipped to raise the child.
- Dative tutorship occurs when there are no qualified relatives to step in for the deceased parents of a minor child. The judge then has the power to appoint non-relatives to care for the child.
You will likely need to file for Letters of Tutorship if you need to bring a lawsuit on behalf of your minor child or your minor child is inheriting property.
Continuing or Permanent Tutorship
If you have a child between the ages of 15 and 17 with special needs, you may qualify for continuing tutorship, sometimes referred to as "guardianship" in other states. Continuing tutorship is available when a person of the requisite age possesses less than two-thirds of the average mental ability of a person of standard ability of the same age, as evidenced by standard testing procedures (for example, IEP tests).
Continuing tutorship allows a parent to continue the parent-and-child relationship even after the child turns 18. Essentially the child would continue to be considered a minor, which allows the parents to oversee the child's interests. Once a child in Louisiana reaches the age of 18, however, they are considered a major in the eyes of the law and a parent can no longer act on their child's behalf, such as making important medical and financial decisions.
Louisiana law, however, permits parents or other adult loved ones to seek tutorship of children 18 years of age or older through interdiction.
If you are unclear about what is right for your child, contact our tutorship lawyer in St. Tammany Parish. Olsen Law Office can help. For more information about tutorship or legal assistance in determining tutorship, call (985) 256-3553 today.