File the Child Guardianship Papers
A court-ordered guardianship asks a judge to appoint a guardian indefinitely. There are a number of forms you must fill out to open a case, and you will have to go to a hearing so a judge can make a decision. Read on for more information about the forms you must complete and how to open a case.
Before you begin:
- Is this page for me? This page is for people who want to become the court-appointed guardian over a child in Nevada.
- Can I do this without a lawyer? Yes, but 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. 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.
- What is the process? After you file the required papers, several things will happen.
1) The court will set a hearing. You and the children will have to attend that hearing. You can attend via phone or video if you prefer.
2) The court will appoint an attorney to represent the child, who will meet with the child and attend the hearing.
3) You will have to serve the child's relatives with copies of the papers, and they can attend the hearing if they want.
- Where can I learn more? You can attend a free guardianship class that teaches you the basics of filing for guardianship.
Follow these steps to start a guardianship case:
1. Fill out the forms. You have to fill out 4 forms to start your case.
2. File the forms. Turn in your completed forms by mail or efiling.
3. Serve the relatives and other required people. You will have to serve many people with your filed court forms.
Learn more about each step below.
A Note About The Forms:
There are different forms depending on if you need to be the guardian over 1 child, 2-3 children, or 4-6 children. Be sure to select the correct forms. All children should have one parent who is the same.
The forms are designed for 1 or 2 people to ask to be the guardians. If only 1 person is asking to be a guardian, write "n/a" wherever the form asks for information about the second proposed guardian.
The forms below will set a hearing for you to see the judge in a month or two. If there is a serious emergency and you need to be appointed the guardian right away, you can instead fill out the Emergency Child Guardianship Packet. You can find the packet and instructions on the Guardianship Forms page.
Do not use the emergency forms unless there is a situation that truly requires the court to act immediately. Emergency guardianships are not granted very often, and are only approved if the child needs immediate medical attention or if the child is facing an immediate risk of harm.
ALL of the forms below are required to open a guardianship case.
Family Court Cover Sheet
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.
Confidential Information Sheet
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.
Petition for Appointment of Guardian
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.
Citation to Appear and Show Cause
This form is REQUIRED. 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 you want the judge to hear your case sooner because of an emergency, you can fill out the Order Shortening Time Packet (pdf fillable) to ask the judge to change your court date.
After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them with the family court to open up a case.
- If you are asking to be the guardian over the person only (not the estate), there is no fee.
- Guardian over the estate: No fee if assets are $2500 or less.
- Guardian over the esatate: $5 fee if the assets are more than $2500, 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 these ways:
By Mail: Mail your forms and the filing fee (if applicable) to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: You can file online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. 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.
- In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information)
Once the case is filed, the judge will appoint an attorney to represent the child(ren) you are seeking to be the guardian over. The attorney will participate in all aspects of the case to represent their wishes.
After you file your forms, you have to serve the children's relatives and possibly some other agencies with a copy of the Petition and the Citation. 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.
Visit the Serving the Relatives page to learn how to serve.
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.