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Sunday, January 18, 2009 kelly, Community Member, asks

Q: can i get legal custody of adult son from the court

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Answers (2)
Dr. Diana Walcutt, Health Guide
1/19/09 7:03pm

Hi Kelly;

It's my understanding that you cannot have custody of an adult, which your son is, unless the courts determine that he is incompetent. That is to say, that he is mentally retarded or incapable of making decisions.

If you can get a court to determine that, then your chances are good that you could be legal guardian. If not, then there is probably little that you can do.


Dr. Diana Walcutt

Sandra, Community Member
1/22/09 6:20pm

In the State of Texas, there are steps you can take to gain legal custody of your adult son. Laws may vary from state to state so be sure you check with a lawyer in your state who specializes in this process. Like any court procedures, I highly recommend engaging a lawyer to handle the paperwork required to finalize these proceedings.

There are 2 types of Guardianships: 

1. Guardian of the Estate- This is where a judge decides, based on professional evaluations of the person and his social situation whether of not a person is capable of managing their own finances. If he feels that the person has been and will continue to make bad financial decisions; if the person has mental or physical problems that interfere with the way he manages his money he can be deemed "Incompetent" and the judge transfers all the persons finances to someone appointed by the court i.e. The Guardian of the Estate. This may be permanent or set for a specific period of time if circumstances change.


2. Guardian of the Person- this is where a judge, as above, deems the person to be impaired to the point that they are unable to make good decisions about any of their own affairs,  medical treatment decisions, deciding to get married, to vote, to have a drivers license, etc. anything that requires a person to have full capacity to make responsible decisions about their life and avoid being taken advantage of by another person. 


Guardianship restrictions can be changed if a person improves in his mental and/or physical capabilities. Also a person may have a Guardian that controls just their Estate or just their Person. Or both types of Guardianship can work together.


Generally a relative takes on the Guardianship role. If no relative is available, the judge can appoint a person who meets the many requirements set for Guardians. The life and background of the poterntial guardian is carefully investigated. Also a bond of several thousands dollars must be covered by the person applying to become a Guardian. The courts are very careful to avoid any potential guardian who might take advatage of the person under their guardianship. Also, the guardian works closely with the judge and  he is responsible for the manner in which he handles the person's affairs.


I am not a lawyer but I am a professional who frequently works with the courts. You really do need to find an attortney in your own state and sit down and talk with them about your situation to help you decide whether or not this is the best option  you want to take.  When applied appropriately, guardianship is a good thing. I hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck to you!

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By kelly, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 01/18/09