New York law says that a guardian must be 18 or over, a legal resident or U.S. citizen. A parent can choose the guardian, the court may appoint a guardian and a child may petition the court for guardianship if the child is over the age of 14 years.
The New York Surrogate’s Court, Supreme Court or the Family Court have jurisdiction to hear guardianship proceedings, and the judge has the authority to decide who the guardian shall be and approve the guardianship. The Surrogate’s Court can appoint a guardianship of the child’s person or property.
A person’s age and health are important considerations for choosing a guardian. The judge will make sure that a guardian has no history of child abuse or neglect.