Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guardianships and Settlements

Guardianship for personal injury settlements tend to be where domestic and personal injury law meet.  I was dealing with this issue last week on a case and noticed the following.  Mississippi Code Annotated 93-13-281 provides in part as follows:

"In cases where a ward has been adopted by decree of court, the adoptive parent or parents, or the next of kin of the adoptive parent or parents, as the case may be, shall be joined as defendants in lieu of the natural parents or the next of kin of the natural parents, as herein provided.  Where the custody and control of a ward has been by decree of court awarded to one of the natural parents, it shall be sufficient herein to join as defendant only the parent to whom the custody and control has been awarded."

I know several attorneys who still join both parents in the petition which is not necessarily a bad idea.  However, you actually only need to join the parent who has custody.  This can save a lot of time especially when the other parent may wish to block a settlement that is in the best interest of the minor child solely for the purpose of harassing the other parent. 

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