Child Guardianships: If the Parents Consent
You can attend a FREE GUARDIANSHIP CLASS where you can learn the basics of guardianship law and the court procedures you need to know. 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.
When a child’s parents will sign papers giving another person guardianship over a child, the process to obtain guardianship is simplified. The guardians and parents fill out some paperwork together stating their agreement to the guardianship. The child must also agree to the guardianship if the child is age 14 or older. Typically, no court hearing is required.
Parents and guardians can either agree to a short-term guardianship for six months or less (which does not require court approval) or a long-term court ordered guardianship. Please visit the sections below to learn more about each kind of guardianship and to find the forms needed to create one of these guardianships.
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.
If a guardianship over a child is needed for six months or less, the parents and guardians can sign temporary guardianship papers. This is a private agreement that does not require a judge's approval.
To create a short-term guardianship, the guardians and both parents must sign and notarize a temporary guardianship agreement. Only one parent’s signature is required if the other parent is deceased, unknown, has no legal rights, or has had their parental rights terminated. If the child who is the subject of the guardianship is age 14 or older, the child must also sign the agreement.
A temporary guardianship lasts for a maximum of six months. It takes effect the day that all required parties sign the document, and automatically expires six months after that date if no sooner date is given. If a guardianship is still needed after six months, the parties can sign another temporary guardianship agreement or they can file for permanent guardianship through the court.
If the parents and guardians agree that a guardianship will be needed indefinitely, they can file for permanent guardianship through the court. A long-term guardianship must be approved by a judge and typically lasts until the child turns 18. The parties can agree to terminate the guardianship earlier, or anyone can petition the court to terminate the guardianship before then if it is no longer needed.
When all of the parties agree to the guardianship, the legal process is called an “uncontested” guardianship. Although a judge's approval is required, usually the parties do not have to appear at a court hearing. The judge will typically sign an order granting the guardianship once all of the required papers are filed.
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.
To get a court order for an uncontested guardianship, complete the following steps:
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 petitioner or second proposed guardian.
To open a guardianship case, you will need to complete these forms:
- Family Court Cover Sheet (required)
- Confidential Information Sheet (required)
- Petition for Appointment of Guardian (required)
- Parent's Consent (required)
- Child's Consent (required if the child is age 14 or older)
This form asks for basic information about the guardian, any person who wants to be a co-guardian, and the children over whom the guardianship is requested. The proposed guardian is the Petitioner and any proposed co-guardian is the Co-Petitioner.
The proposed guardians must provide some form of identification for themselves and the children over whom the guardianship is requested. You can provide a copy of each person's driver's license, passport, 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. This information is filed confidentially and is not available to the public.
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
co-guardian/co-petitioner." The child over whom the guardianship is requested is the "ward." All sections must be completed, and all guardians must sign the petition. If something does not apply, write "n/a" in that section.
This form gives a parent’s written consent to the guardianship. Both parents must complete a separate consent and sign the consent in front of a notary. Only one parent’s consent is required if the other parent is deceased, unknown, has no legal rights, or has had their parental rights terminated.
If the parents will not consent to the guardianship, a different process must be followed to obtain guardianship over the children. Please see Child Guardianships: If the Parents Do Not Consent for more information.
If any of the children who are the subject of the guardianship are age 14 or older, they must also consent to the
guardianship. Any child who is 14 or older must complete one of these forms.
After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them with the family court 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. 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, but you must arrive by 3:40 p.m. to see a Clerk before closing. Be sure to arrive before then.
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: You can file the forms online through the court's e-filing system, Wiznet. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload each document, 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.
After filing all of the documents, you will need to provide a copy of everything you filed to the judge. You must also prepare an Order Appointing Guardian to submit to the judge. Download the following order and complete as much of the Order Appointing Guardian as you can. There are some parts that the judge will fill out later.
Bring the Order Appointing Guardian and copies of all the documents you filed to the family court. Go to the third floor of the courthouse and drop all of the papers in the drop box that says “Guardianship.” If you cannot bring the papers to the courthouse, you can mail them instead. The judge will review the papers, and if everything is completed correctly, the judge will approve the guardianship. The judge's staff will contact you to pick up your order if the guardianship is approved.
When you get your Order Appointing Guardian, there are a few more things you must do and forms you must file to finish the guardianship case. Make sure you file all three of the forms below to finish up your case.
Notice of Entry of Order Appointing Guardian
After you are appointed the guardian, you must send a copy of the Order Appointing Guardian to all of the child’s required relatives. To find out who must be notified, please click here. Fill out this form, attach a copy of the Order Appointing Guardian, and file it with the Clerk's Office. After you file the form, mail a copy to every relative that is required.
Letters of Guardianship
The letters of guardianship are the proof that you have the power to act as guardian. You have no legal authority to act as guardian until the letters of guardianship are issued! This is the proof you will need to show to anyone who needs to verify that you have the power to act on behalf of the ward.
Each guardian must complete a separate form. Complete as much of the form as you can, but do not sign the second page. This form must be filed in person at the family courthouse. Bring the form to the courthouse and ask to see the Issuing Clerk. The Issuing Clerk will administer the Oath of Guardian, have you sign the form, and will then stamp and file the form.
If you were appointed the guardian over the ward's estate and the judge required you to establish a "blocked account," the Issuing Clerk cannot approve the letters of guardianship until proof of the blocked account is filed. See the information for Guardians Over the Estate for more information about this.
Guardian's Acknowledgment of Duties
Guardians have many responsibilities. Once appointed, each guardian must complete a form acknowledging all of the duties and responsibilities they are accepting. This is explained more fully on the Powers and Duties of a Guardian page.
Select the form that applies to the type of guardianship you were granted, and initial every line to let the court know you understand the responsibilities you are accepting. Each guardian must complete a separate form. File this form with the Clerk's Office.
Guardians are required to file more forms periodically with the court to keep the court updated. The forms you will need to file and the deadlines to file them are all listed on the After the Hearing page (even though you did not have a hearing, the requirements are the same). Make sure you are familiar with the forms you will be expected to file in the future.
The guardians or parents may need to come back to court for additional court orders later. Please visit Getting Additional Court Orders for information on how to get the judge's approval to do certain things, or Terminating the Guardianship for information about how to end the guardianship if it is no longer needed.