In Missouri, each parent of a child is vested with the co-equal rights, duties, and powers entailed in being the child’s natural guardian. To vest powers with a third party, each parent must consent to vesting the guardianship of the child with their chosen third party.
The person who is appointed as the minor’s guardian assumes the duties to provide for the minor’s education, support, and medical care. This power of attorney also gives health care providers and educational personnel the authority to discuss the child’s health care issues and educational issues with those providers.
Parents can temporarily delegate guardianship powers and authority over their child to a third party by properly executing a Power of Attorney. A parent may wish to delegate these powers for a variety of reasons, and some of the more common reasons are due to a parent’s military service, a parent’s participation in substance-abuse treatment, or a desire for the child to live with the third party for an extended period of time for educational purposes (such as when the family is moving out of the area but an older child wishes to stay behind to finish high school with their friends).
A Power of Attorney of this type may only delegate parental powers regarding the care and custody of a child for a period of one year. However, parents may simultaneously execute multiple Powers of Attorney that take effect in succession such that the delegation may continue indefinitely.
Contact an attorney at the Zolman Law Firm in St. Louis today for a free consultation to discuss the options that are available to you.