It is the thought keeping parents up at night: Who will take care of my children if I come down with COVID-19?
If you are married, you may be counting on your spouse to shoulder care duties. But what if you both fall ill with coronavirus? If you’re divorced, will your child’s co-parent be reliable or fully available? The answers aren’t always so clear.
So, in light of this uncertainty, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) has now issued guidance encouraging New Jersey parents to establish Power of Attorney documents naming a temporary guardian for their minor children. Should both parents become incapacitated with COVID-19, or a divorced parent become ill, the temporary guardian named in the document will be able to immediately take on care for the children until the parent has recovered.
Establishing a Power of Attorney to Name a Temporary Guardian
A Power of Attorney for Child is a legal document that names a responsible adult who will act as temporary guardian for your children should you be unable to care for your children due to illness, or other specified circumstances. The temporary guardian named in the POA will lawfully care for your children until you are well again. If you are divorced and co-parent, the temporary guardian is able to fulfill your share of parenting time.
The person(s) you name may be a grandparent or other relative, or close friend or neighbor who agrees to act as caregiver. The temporary guardian can care for the children in your own home or in their home (i.e., in the event you require home quarantine).
You can work with a family law attorney to quickly and seamlessly put a Power of Attorney in place. The attorney will guide you through how to establish temporary dates for short-term guardianship and how to choose the temporary guardian, and help you complete the fast and easy process for creating a fully enforceable Power of Attorney to protect your children.
Power of Attorney prevents foster care risk
In urging parents to establish a Power of Attorney for their children, DCF outlined the very real risks of not taking action, including the children’s risk for being placed in foster care during the parent’s illness. According to DCF:
In the event a child is without a caregiver due to a parent’s illness or incapacitation, DCF’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) may be called to take custody. The Division works to identify appropriate and willing family, friends or neighbors that can provide short-term guardianship, but these efforts can take time and a child could be placed in foster care while details and arrangements are made.
Establishing a Power of Attorney in place for your child is a fast, effective and inexpensive way to safeguard your children and family, and protect all of you from additional stress and trauma.
Peace of Mind for Parents and Children
Want to learn more? Our attorneys have put hundreds of POAs in place for parents since the lockdown began. Let us help you safeguard your children and feel peace of mind. It’s a quick, straightforward and low cost process. Call us today at 888-888-0919 to learn more.