TITLE 13

Domestic Relations

CHAPTER 23. GUARDIANSHIP OF A CHILD

Subchapter I. Definitions and Jurisdiction


The General Assembly hereby declares that although the Family Court has jurisdiction to grant guardianship, there does not presently exist any statutory framework for our families, our children and our Family Court judiciary as to the proper procedures and requirements for guardianship in the Family Court.

73 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 1.;

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context indicates differently:

(1) "Abuse" or "abused child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(2) "Adult" means a person who has reached his or her 18th birthday.

(3) "Best interests" is as defined in § 722 of this title.

(4) "Child" or "children" means persons who have not reached their 18th birthday.

(5) "Court" means the Family Court.

(6) "Department" or "DSCYF" means the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(7) "Dependency" or "dependent child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(8) "Division" means the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(9) "Foster parent" means an individual or couple who has been approved by DSCYF or a licensed agency to provide foster care in exchange for foster care payments provided by DSCYF or a licensed agency.

(10) "Guardian" means a nonparent or an agency charged with caring for a child during the child's minority.

(11) "Guardian ad litem" means an individual appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of a child, whether or not that reflects the wishes of the child, who by that individual's appointment shall be a party to the child welfare proceeding.

(12) "Neglect" or "neglected child" is as defined in § 901 of Title 10.

(13) "Parent" is as defined by § 8-201 of this title.

(14) "Parental responsibilities" means the care, support and control of the child in a manner that provides for the child's necessary physical needs, including adequate food, clothing and shelter, and that also provides for the mental and emotional health and development of such child.

(15) "Permanency" means the safe, stable, custodial environment in which a child is raised and the life-long relationship that child establishes with a nurturing caregiver.

(16) "Relative" shall have the same meaning as used in § 901 of Title 10.

73 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 136, §§ 9-12; 77 Del. Laws, c. 97, § 4; 79 Del. Laws, c. 246, § 1.;

(a) The Family Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings under this chapter to grant, modify and/or terminate guardianship.

(b) A petition for guardianship under this chapter may be filed in the Family Court of any of the following counties:

(1) The county in which at least 1 parent resides;

(2) The county in which the organization having legal or physical care, custody or control of the child is located; or

(3) The county in which the child is located.

73 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 1.;