Incapacity

Choosing a Guardian

Factors to Consider when Selecting a Guardian: Marital Status

by Rania Combs

NB: This post is part of a series discussing factors you should consider when selecting a guardian for your minor children. You can read all these posts here.

When deciding who to select as your children’s guardian, it is important to consider the prospective guardian’s marital status for several reasons:

  1. Statistically, about 40 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages will end in divorce. Despite being armed with these sobering statistics, many parents select a couple as guardians of their children but do not specify what should happen if that couple is no longer married. If you are considering a married couple as guardians, it is important to specify your wishes in case that marriage ends in divorce.
  2. If you choose a married individual, rather than a couple, as your children’s guardian, it is important to consider whether you like that person’s spouse as well. After all, your children will be living in the same home as the spouse. If you have significant concerns about the spouse’s character, you should probably select another person to serve as guardian.
  3. If the person you select is a single person, consider whether you are comfortable with the prospective guardian acting as a single parent. While each of us probably knows many single parents who are doing a fantastic job raising their children, single parents face many challenges. They have to take on the role of both mother and father. They don’t have anyone with whom to share the burdens associated with caring and providing for a family. A single person may also get married at some point, and it is important to consider whether you would trust your prospective guardian’s choice in a spouse.

Regardless of whether your prospective guardian is single or married, it is important that the person you select is able to give your children stability during a challenging time in their lives.


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