juvenile law

Fitness

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe ability of a prospective adoptive parent to provide for the best interests of a child the parent wishes to adopt. A court may consider many aspects of the prospective parents' lives in evaluating...

Foster Care

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryCourt-ordered care provided to children who are unable to live in their own homes, usually because their parents have abused or neglected them. Foster parents have a legal responsibility to care for their...

Foster Child

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA child placed by a government agency or a court in the care of someone other than the child's natural parents. Foster children may be removed from their family home because of parental abuse or neglect....

Foster Parent

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn adult who takes over care of a minor child who has been placed in the foster care system because the child's own family cannot take care of the child or have had custody taken away by a court or agency...

Guardian

Definition

Courts appoint guardians to care for people who cannot take care of themselves. The person a guardian protects is called that guardian's ward. Wards may be either minor children or incapacitated adults. In some other jurisdictions, "...

Guardian Ad Litem

Definition

A guardian ad litem is a guardian that a court appoints to watch after someone during a case.

Overview

The person being watched over is called a ward, and a court will appoint someone to watch after the ward when the ward cannot...

Guardian of the Estate

Someone appointed by a court to care for the property and finances of a minor child or an incapacitated adult. A guardian of the estate may also be called a property guardian, financial guardian, or conservator of the estate.

Compare: guardian of...

Guardian of the Person

Someone appointed by a court to make personal decisions for a minor child or an incapacitated adult, commonly called a ward. Such decisions usually include day-to-day living arrangements, health care, education, and other matters related to the ward's...

Guardianship

A legal relationship created by a court between a guardian and a ward--either a minor child or an incapacitated adult (although the latter relationship is more commonly called a conservatorship). The guardian has a legal right and duty to care for the...

In Re Gault (1967)

The U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that juvenile criminal defendants are entitled to due process protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Among other things, due process protection includes the right to...

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