What is Continuing Tutorship?
A continuing tutorship allows you to continue the parent-child relationship after your child reaches the age of majority. Simply put, your child would continue to be treated as a minor for most purposes. “Tutorship” is the Louisiana term for guardianship. Parents are the natural tutors of their children until a child reaches the age of majority (18 years old). A continuing tutorship allows the parent to continue to serve as a guardian of their child’s interests after the age of majority.
How is Continuing Tutorship Different from Interdiction?
First of all, the procedure is much simpler. While an interdiction requires a contested hearing and legal representation of all parties, a continuing tutorship will be granted virtually automatically. It is a relatively routine procedure and can be “walked through” the judge’s office without requiring an appearance in court. This translates to much lower legal expenses.
The legal effect is also very different. An interdiction can completely eliminate a person’s civil powers and has been called a “civil death” by the courts. The result of a continuing tutorship is that the subject is treated as a minor and still has many legal rights and powers.
Do We Qualify for Continuing Tutorship?
Continuing tutorship is only available when the child has an intellectual disability such that they possess “less than two-thirds of the intellectual functioning of a person of the same age with average intellectual functioning” as shown by a standardized IQ test. That is, the child’s standardized test score must show an IQ less than 67.
When Do I Need to File?
Continuing tutorship can only begin once the child is 15 years old. There is then a limited window of time available for the process because once the child turns 18, it is too late. At that point, the more involved and costly interdiction procedures must be used.