Question:  I live in Illinois and my question is about the legal guardianship of my adult son with disabilities. I am his guardian and my husband is co-guardian. We are divorcing. Does being co-guardians mean we both have to sign for everything? Also what happens if there is an emergency and I am the only one with our son (which is often the case)?

Answer:  While we can’t advise you on Illinois law in particular, the general rule is that if you and your husband are your son’s co-guardians, you must work together and come to a consensus on your son’s care and living arrangements. If you can’t agree, you’ll have to go to court and ask the judge to make a decision. Or the two of you can agree to a system for handling your disagreements. For instance, you might agree that you will both acquiesce to the decision of an independent third party, perhaps a social worker or other person who knows your son and has relevant professional expertise and experience.

That said, you probably don’t both need to sign everything. Either one of you should be able to act for both of you to sign the necessary documents. This makes things simpler, but whoever is signing still has to come to an agreement with the other. To sign a paper or give instructions representing that you are both in agreement when you’re not would be fraudulent.

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