Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Has guardianship worked for you?

My son is 24 yo and homeless. Refusing treatment. He lives in another state like 3k miles from me, his mom. I have been thinking about the pros and cons of guardianship and would like to here abt your experience.

So sorry Hope to hear he is homeless , i can’t imagine . I don’t know much about guardianship but i’m sure Nami helpline can answer lots of your questions .

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We went to a pricey lawyer to try to get guardianship of our 29 to. Very hard, if not impossible. We would need Drs signature, which is impossible because he doesn’t go. . We are in Delaware. If you search guardianship within this forum, you will see other conversations about it.

YES. Our county mental health services provided me the paperwork and a lawyer, at no charge. My son also received representation. He was so ill at the time that he refused to participate (due to paranoia), which actually worked in my advantage. After receiving guardianship, I was able to communicate much more easily with care providers, and participate in his care plan decisions. My son, now 30, is on a medication that is helping him and lives semi-independently.

I must say, I think the stars aligned in my case, there were no real obstacles, and no expenses, and my son, after a few more years of struggle, came to an acceptance of my good will in being his guardian.


This is what I remember from when my husband became his parents guardian. Guardianship is awarded by the state because the person actually becomes a ward of the state. In our area the county judge heard the case and granted the guardianship. We had to move his parents into our state before filing for guardianship. We had thought we should file for guardianship before moving them, nope, the attorney said we all needed to live in the same state. Possibly it varies from state to state.

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This is useful, because my son and me live in different states. He left home a year ago. And I have not been able to make him move back. Oh Gosh…

Guardianship and conservatorship varies from state to state. Depending on the state it can be more complex or not to have it granted. It is a lengthy process and some states require forms filled out by a doctor. This complicates things if our love one refuses to see a doctor. This process can also be very expensive.

That sounds wonderful. Where do you live?

I became guardian of my daughter when she turned 18. Her psychiatrist was happy to fill out the forms. Her representation was provided by the Department of Mental Health. We didn’t feel we needed a lawyer because she wanted me to be guardian. It has allowed for totally open communication in her care - including all medical care. It has been a fantastic arrangement. Her doctors/,therapist/community care workers and my husband and I all work as a team.


Legal Guardianship has been key to getting my son the treatment he needs. I spent a lot of time researching this information because it was not readily available.

I stumbled upon the instructions on how to become a legal guardian on this website. This is in Washington state.

I met with a family law facilitator who walked me through step-by-step on what I needed to do and showed me the forms I needed. There is no fee for this except for the forms. I did not need a lawyer but could consult one if I wanted to. Before filing the paperwork, I went back to the family law facilitator who went over everything to ensure I did not miss anything.

After I filed the paperwork, the court appointed a guardian ad litem (lawyer) to represent the best interest of my loved one. This did not cost me a penny. There was a court hearing and the judge approved the legal guardianship on the same day.

I file yearly reports which can be laborious. However, all this effort has been worth it. The legal guardianship has made me a very powerful advocate for my son. HIPAA makes it impossible to advocate for our loved ones. The legal guardianship makes it possible for me to do so.

If you have questions I can answer, please feel free to send me a private message. Take care.