In re C.P., ___ N.C. App. ___, 801 S.E.2d 647 (2017)

Held: 
Affirmed
  • Before the court orders guardianship, it must verify the proposed guardian (1) understands the legal significance of the appointment and (2) has adequate resources to appropriately care for the child. There are no specific findings that must be made; the record must contain competent evidence for both components of the verification.
  • Although the proposed guardian’s testimony of “yes” answers in response to the court’s questions would not have been sufficient evidence of his resources or ability to care for the child, the record also included reports from the department and the child’s GAL. Those reports established the child was living with the proposed guardian in a stable, approved home with his own bedroom, toys, and tv; appeared happy and safe; responded positively to the proposed guardian’s structure and consistency; transitioned to public school, had a decrease in prior behavioral issues; and attended his many medical, dental, and therapy appointments. Although the record showed a short period were the proposed guardian had been laid off, there was evidence that the GAL believed the proposed guardian was now working, and the proposed guardian’s application for TANF (welfare) benefits during his brief period of unemployment demonstrated his appreciation of the financial burden of caring for the child and his intent to prepare for it. The findings also included the order (which the court took judicial notice of) allowing the proposed guardian to intervene. The order addressed the proposed guardian's consistent provision of food, clothing, and necessities to the child in the past.
  • The court’s determination that the proposed guardian's resources were adequate are satisfied by the evidence of the proposed guardian’s long close relationship with the child, willingness to intervene in the action, and the undisputed evidence of his demonstrated ability to provide for the child. 
Category:
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency
Stage:
Disposition (All Stages Post-Adjudication)
Topic:
Guardianship
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