|June 9, 2014|
Previously published on June 2014
Nevada law (NRS 159.205) allows parents to appoint short-term guardians for their minor child(ren) without the approval of the court so long as the parent has legal custody. The short-term guardianship can last for up to six months. The appointment of a short-term guardian could be helpful in the following types of circumstances:
Both parents will be travelling out of state or out of the country for an extended period of time
A child is being sent to stay with a family member out of state for an extended period of time
Both parents are ill or about to undergo medical treatment which will interfere with their ability to care for their child
If the child is 14 years of age or older, the appointment of a short-term guardian for that child is only effective if the minor provides written consent to the guardianship.
It is important to note that the appointment of a short-term guardian by one parent does not affect the rights of the other parent of a minor. NRS 159.205 section 4. provides that a parent shall not appoint a short-term guardian for a minor child if the minor child has another parent: (a) whose parental rights have not been terminated; (b) whose whereabouts are known; and (c) who is willing and able to make and carry out daily child care decisions concerning the minor, unless the other parent of the minor child provides written consent to the appointment.
The short-term guardian does have the power to make health care decisions for the child during the time of their appointment. Generally, the power of attorney document includes limits such that the delegation of power does not include any power to terminate or withdraw life sustaining treatment or to in any way withdraw artificially administered nutrition or hydration.
The appointment of a short-term guardian for minor children can be incredibly helpful for military families. NRS 159.215 provides that a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof or the National Guard may, without the approval of a court, appoint a short-term guardian for their minor children. The short-term guardianship is not limited to six months for military families.