According to the Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, parents lose guardianship over their children once they reach the age of 18. However, in Belleville and across the state, people can obtain guardianship over an adult with a disability through the circuit court. For those who wish to become the legal guardian of a disabled adult, understanding the guardianship process is very important.
First, those wishing to become a disabled adult's guardian must secure a report which establishes the individual's disability and need for guardianship. Professionals who are aware of the individual's disability, such as physicians, should sign the report and they may also need to appear in court. The report must contain a number of key elements, such as living arrangements and an overview of the individual's disability. It is essential for people to complete reports that are detailed and contain a sufficient amount of information.
Next, those pursuing guardianship over a disabled adult must file a petition and, at a later point in time, attend a guardianship hearing. In Illinois, people are not able to act as guardians in a number of circumstances, such as those with serious criminal convictions or unsound minds. Adult disabilities which may require a guardian take many forms, according to the Illinois General Assembly. For example, adults who have autism or an intellectual disability causing impairment may need a guardian. In some cases, people may act as a guardian over adults who have serious problems with gambling or intoxicants, if such problems cause suffering in the family.