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Guardianship, Domestic & Drug Abuse, Mental Illness



How to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones

If your family is dealing with conflict due to domestic violence, drug abuse, or mental illness, the law provides resources for dealing with it. The following overview will describe legal avenues to address these problems:

  • Domestic abuse - If there is domestic violence or child abuse in the home, steps must be taken to avoid serious harm. A motion for protective order or restraining order can be filed to prevent contact between the victim of domestic violence and the abuser. When there is harassment by an unrelated person, a restraining order can also be sought. Emotional abuse can also be covered under a restraining order, usually when it involves threats of harm.


  • Child neglect - Child neglect can be as damaging as physical child abuse. Depending on the circumstances, various remedies may be appropriate, such as a modification of child custody, temporary guardianship with a friend or relative, foster care, or termination of parental rights. The deciding factor for the court is the best interests of the child.


  • Elderly abuse - A durable power of attorney should only be given to a trusted person if an elderly person is mentally incompetent or incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs. If the elderly person is mentally incompetent and hasn't prepared a durable power of attorney, then it may be necessary to go to court to create a guardianship or conservatorship. If you suspect elderly abuse by a caregiver, a motion for a restraining order or protective order can be filed to prevent not only physical abuse, but financial and emotional abuse as well.


  • Drug abuse - Teenage drug use and drug abuse among adults affects everyone involved. Incarceration and mental health commitment to a treatment facility are common outcomes for problems with substance abuse. A psychiatric evaluation may be ordered by the court. Intervention of some sort is necessary before the outcome is death. Drug testing may be conducted to stop the denial which commonly accompanies drug addiction. For parents dealing with teen drug use, the child's written consent to a home drug test isn't required. Drug testing can prevent drug use and substance abuse from leading to an accident, jail, lifetime addiction, or death.


  • Mental illness - In some cases, it may be necessary to petition for involuntary commitment to a mental health facility when a mentally ill person needs care and is determined to be a danger to his or her self or others. More commonly, a guardianship or conservatorship will be established for a mentally ill ward. A psychiatric evaluation may be ordered by the court as part of the process.


US Legal Forms has a vast selection of affordable, professionally drafted forms for domestic abuse victims and those dealing with child abuse, child neglect, elderly abuse, drug abuse, or mental illness. Our forms can empower you to get the help you need by filing a protective order or restraining order, establish a guardianship or conservatorship, pursue mental health commitment, sign a power of attorney, and much more.


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