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.
You can attend a FREE GUARDIANSHIP CLASS where you can learn the basics of guardianship law and the court procedures. Classes are available to anyone, regardless of income, and regardless of whether you have an attorney. You'll receive a class manual and some great tips to help you represent yourself. Visit Free Classes for more information.
Guardianship cases can be difficult to navigate on your own. There are many court rules and requirements you must follow to succeed in a guardianship case. If you do not follow the rules and requirements, your case could be delayed or even dismissed!
Before filing for guardianship, it is very important to read through every article in the Guardianship Overview section of this website so you understand the concepts involved. The Free Guardianship Class is also a wonderful resource to learn the basics of guardianship law and court procedure. If you decide you need legal help to file your case, you can find out where to get legal assistance by visiting Lawyers & Legal Help.
Once you are familiar with the legal concepts and are ready to file a case, please read and follow the steps below:
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE & SUPPORT!
There are programs available to financially assist relatives who are caring for children in their home. Relatives may be eligible for non-needy caretaker TANF benefits, and those 62 and older may also be eligible for Kinship Care cash benefits and/or legal help. You can learn more about these programs by visiting your local welfare office, or visiting the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services website.
If you are parenting a relative's child, Foster Kinship is a nonprofit organization that provides free support and information, including help with applying for financial benefits. Visit the Foster Kinship website for more information. You can also download the Resources for Relative Caregivers information sheet for other services.
A Note About The Forms:
Forms are available to ask to be the guardian over 1 child, 2-3 children, or 4-6 children. Be sure to select the correct form depending on how many children are involved All children in the petition should have the same mother, but can have different fathers.
In addition, 1 or 2 people can ask to be named the guardian over a child. All of the forms are designed for 2 people to ask to be the guardians, but if only 1 person is asking to be a guardian, write "n/a" wherever the form asks for information about the second proposed guardian.
To open a guardianship case, you will need to complete ALL FOUR of the following forms. Every form below is required for all cases.
- Family Court Cover Sheet
- Confidential Information Sheet
- Petition for Appointment of Guardian
- Citation to Appear and Show Cause
- UCCJEA Declaration
This form is REQUIRED. One or two people can ask to be named the guardians over a child. This form asks for basic information about you, any person who wants to be a co-guardian with you, and the children over whom you are asking to be the guardian. You are the Petitioner and any proposed co-guardian is the Co-Petitioner.
This form is REQUIRED. The proposed guardians must provide some form of identification for themselves and the children. You can provide a copy of each person's driver's license, birth certificate, or social security card (or other types listed on the form). This form must be completed to let the court know what identification you are providing, and a copy of the identification must be attached.
The proposed guardians' information is required when you file, and the child's identification must be filed within 120 days after the appointment of guardian if it is not immediately available. This information is filed confidentially and is not available to the public.
This form is REQUIRED. This form tells the court who is asking to be named the guardian and why. The person asking to be the guardian is the "proposed guardian/petitioner." If a second person is asking to be a co-guardian, that person is the "proposed second guardian/co-petitioner." The children over whom the guardianship is requested are the "proposed protected minors." All sections must be completed. If something does not apply, write "n/a" in that section.
This form is REQUIRED. The judge requires a hearing before deciding whether to approve the guardianship. The "citation" sets a court date for your request to be named the guardian. Fill out every section except for the "Date and Time of Court Appearance" (that part will be filled out by the court clerk when you file your papers).
The Clerk of Court will schedule a hearing date when you file the Citation. If there is an emergency and you want the judge to hear your case sooner, you can file additional documents asking the judge to change the court date. Download the Order Shortening Time Packet (pdf fillable) for all of the instructions and forms needed to ask the judge to hear your case quickly.
This form gives details about where the child has lived for the last five years, and if there are any other cases that might affect the guardianship case.
After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them to open up a case. There is no fee to file the papers if you are asking to be the guardian over the person only (not the estate).
If you are asking to be the guardian over the estate, the fee to file the papers depends on the value of the assets that you are asking to be the guardian over. The filing fees are:
Estate Less Than $2,500: No filing fee
Estate Valued at $2,500-$20,000: $185.50 filing fee
Estate Valued at $20,000-$200,000: $284.50 filing fee
Estate Valued over $200,000: $537.50 filing fee
The fee is payable by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of three ways:
In Person: Bring your filing fee and the forms to the Family Courts and Services Center or the Regional Justice Center. You will be able to file your papers in person at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
By Mail: If you cannot come to the court during business hours, you can mail your forms and the filing fee to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: Many documents can be filed online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV (although some documents must be filed in person). There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents.
If you efile your documents, you will be agreeing to be served with future legal documents electronically. Be sure to use an email address that you will check regularly so that you do not miss important legal documents filed in your case. If your email addresses changes, you must update that information in your efile account. If you would rather receive future legal documents through the U.S. Mail, file your documents in person or by mail.
Next Step: Serve the Relatives and Required Agencies
After you complete the steps on this page, a copy of the Petition and the Citation must be served on the children's relatives and possibly some other agencies. The Court does not serve the papers for you. It is up to YOU to make sure all of the required people are served after you file for guardianship. After you have completed the steps on this page, learn all about how to have the relatives and required agencies served by visiting the Serving the Relatives page.