Short-Term Guardianship

A short-term guardianship is a private agreement that does not require a judge's approval.  It might be an option if:

  1. You only need a guardianship for a minor child for 6 months or less; AND
  2. The parents will sign and notarize a short-term guardianship agreement. Only one parent’s signature is needed if the other parent is deceased, unknown, has no legal rights, or has had their parental rights terminated; AND
  3. If the child is 14 or older, the child will sign the agreement.

If all of the above apply, you may be able to avoid a court order and get a short-term guardianship instead.  

A short-term guardianship 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 short-term guardianship agreement or they can file for permanent guardianship through the court.

*short-term guardianship agreement may not work for all purposes.*  Usually, it cannot be used to get medical insurance for a child, and some medical providers may not accept it.  A permanent court order might be needed for these issues.

Six-Month Short-Term Guardianship Agreement (pdf fillable)



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.