Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts
9/20/2018

§ 16.1-350. Petition for court approval of standby guardian.

A. Upon petition of any person, the juvenile court of the jurisdiction in which a child resides may approve a person as standby guardian for a child of a qualified parent upon the occurrence of a specified triggering event. If requested in the petition, the court may also approve an alternate standby guardian identified by the petitioner, to act in the event that at any time after approval pursuant to this section the standby guardian is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibilities of the standby guardianship.

B. The petition shall state:

1. The name and address of the petitioner and his relationship to the child and the name and address of the child's qualified parent, and the name and address of any other parent of the child whose identity and whereabouts are known to the petitioner or can reasonably be ascertained;

2. The name, address and birthdate of the child;

3. The nature of the proposed triggering event, including when a qualified parent's consent would be effective in those cases where such consent is chosen as the triggering event;

4. Whether a determination of incompetence or debilitation has been made and, if so, when and by whom;

5. Whether there is a significant risk that the qualified parent will imminently become physically or mentally incapable of caring for the child or die as the result of a progressive chronic condition or illness; however, a petitioner shall not be required to submit medical documentation of a parent's medical status with the petition;

6. The name and address of the person proposed as standby guardian and any alternate and whether the petition requests that such person be given authority as a guardian of the person or guardian of the property of the minor, or both;

7. A statement of any known reasons as to why the child's other parent is not assuming or should not assume the responsibilities of a standby guardian;

8. Whether there is any prior judicial history regarding custody of the child or any pending litigation regarding custody of the child; and

9. The name and address of the attending physician.

C. Upon the filing of a petition, notice of the filing shall promptly be given to each parent of the child whose identity and whereabouts are known to the petitioner. The court shall direct the issuance of summonses to the child, if the child is twelve or more years of age and the proposed standby guardian and alternate, if any, and such other persons as appear to the court to be proper or necessary parties to the proceedings including the child's parents, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis, if the identity and whereabouts of such persons are known. Service of the summons shall be made pursuant to § 16.1-264.

An order approving the standby guardian shall not be entered without a hearing if there is another known parent, stepparents, adult siblings, or other adult related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption who requests a hearing within ten days of the date that notice of the filing was sent or if there is other litigation pending regarding custody of the child.

Prior to any hearing on the petition, the court may appoint a discreet and competent attorney at law as guardian ad litem to represent the child pursuant to § 16.1-266.1. In the case of a petition filed by anyone other than a parent of the child, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem. The qualified parent shall not be required to appear in court if the parent is medically unable to appear, except upon motion for good cause shown.

1998, c. 829.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.