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Home » Contested Guardianships » Could co-guardianships result from contested requests?

One of society’s responsibilities is to ensure the well-being and care of vulnerable adults. If you are seeking guardianship of an adult in New Jersey, other people might contest it.

The reasons may vary. For example, perhaps the other person would rather be the guardian. One question that may naturally occur is whether co-guardianships could result from contested situations.

Legal framework and requirements

About 13.9% of the population of Morristown is 65 and older. Some of these seniors may need guardians.

In New Jersey, getting guardianship involves petitioning the court and providing evidence of the individual’s incapacity or need for assistance in decision-making. The court may consider appointing multiple guardians if it is in the best interest of the vulnerable adult.

Best interest determination

In situations where two people contest each other’s guardianship proposals, co-guardianship may not be in the vulnerable adult’s best interest. This is because the co-guardians might not be able to get along or agree. They could increase the vulnerable adult’s stresses and problems. For example, in even the best co-guardianship situations, communication and decision-making between co-guardians may lead to conflicts or disagreements.

The primary consideration in establishing guardianship, whether singular or co-, is the best interest of the individual in need of assistance. Courts in New Jersey assess the individual’s preferences, existing support systems and the capabilities of potential guardians.

The court typically appoints a single guardian unless compelling reasons exist to appoint co-guardians. Such reasons may include the vulnerable adult’s strong preference for both individuals or the complexity of the adult’s needs.

Independent evaluation

When two people contest each other’s proposed guardianship, the court may appoint an independent evaluator to assess the vulnerable adult’s situation and make recommendations. The court will then weigh these recommendations along with other evidence presented before making a decision.

The court’s goal is to ensure the welfare and autonomy of adults while providing the support and assistance they require.