Court-Ordered Child Guardianship

File the Child Guardianship Papers

If the parents will not agree to make you the guardian, you can file papers to go to court and ask the judge to appoint you as the guardian.  There are a number of forms you must fill out to open a case. The forms will tell the judge about you, anyone who wants to be a co-guardian with you, the children you are asking to be the guardian over, their parents, and why the guardianship is needed. Read on for more information about the forms you must complete and how to open a case.

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Serve the Child's Relatives

When you file paperwork asking to be named a guardian, you have to “serve” a copy of the Petition and the Citation on many of the child's relatives. The court does not serve these documents for you; you are required to make sure the right people are properly served. Visit this section to find out how to serve the relatives.

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The Child Guardianship Hearing

After filing and serving the guardianship papers, the proposed guardians and the children must appear at a hearing in front of a judge. The parents and other relatives can also attend.  The judge will then decide whether to grant the guardianship. Read this section to find out the things you must do before the guardianship hearing and what to expect at the hearing.

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After the Child Guardianship Hearing

After the guardianship has been approved by the judge, there are several more forms that the guardians must complete and file. Some forms are required immediately, and some will be filed in the future throughout the life of the guardianship case. Read on for information about what must be filed and when.

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