3B:12-72. Appointment of standby guardian by court
6. a. Upon petition of the parent, legal custodian or designated standby guardian, the court may appoint a standby guardian of a minor child. The court may also appoint an alternate standby guardian, if identified by the petitioner, to act if the appointed standby guardian dies, becomes incapacitated, or otherwise refuses or is unable to assume the duties of the standby guardian after the death, incapacity or debilitation of the parent or legal custodian of the minor child.
b. A petition for the judicial appointment of a standby guardian of a minor child shall state:
(1) which triggering event or events shall cause the authority of the appointed standby guardian to become effective;
(2) that there is a significant risk that the parent or legal custodian will die, become incapacitated, or become debilitated as a result of a progressive chronic condition or a fatal illness; however, a petitioner shall not be required to submit medical documentation of the parents or legal custodians terminal status by his attending physician; and
(3) the name, address, and qualifications of the proposed standby guardian.
c. A parent or legal custodian petitioning the court pursuant to this section shall not be required to appear in court if unable to appear, except upon motion of the court or by any party and for good cause shown.
d. The court shall appoint the standby guardian if the court finds that there is a significant risk that the parent or legal custodian will die, become incapacitated, or become debilitated as a result of a progressive chronic condition or a fatal illness, and that the interests of the minor child would be promoted by the appointment of the standby guardian.
e. The decree appointing the standby guardian shall specify the triggering event which shall activate the authority of the standby guardian.
f. Upon petition for the appointment of a standby guardian by a person as specified in subsection a. of this section, notice shall be served on the minor childs parent or legal custodian, or the designated standby guardian, as appropriate, within 30 days of the filing. The court shall give preference to maintaining custody with either the parent or legal custodian, or the designated standby guardian, during the time that the petition is pending. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any parent of parental rights. If the petition alleges that after diligent search, the parent or legal custodian cannot be found, the parent or legal custodian shall be served by notice delivered pursuant to New Jersey court rules. No notice is necessary to a parent who is deceased or whose parental rights have been previously terminated by court order or consent.