Guardianship of the Person

A guardianship is when the Court appoints an adult who is not the child’s parent to take care of the child or the child’s property.

There are two kinds of Probate Guardianships:
  • Guardianship of the Person
  • Guardianship of the Estate*

Guardianship of the person is set up because a child is living with an adult who is not a parent, and the adult needs the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child. In a Probate Guardianship of the Person, the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child.

The guardian generally has the same responsibilities as a parent. That means the guardian is responsible for the child’s care, including the child’s:
  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional growth
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and any special needs

*Our Resource Center does not assist with Guardianship of the Estate cases.

Who to Serve and How to Serve

  • Service by personal hand delivery:
    • Mother
    • Father
    • Minor (if minor is 12 years or older)
  • Service by mail:
    • Both sets of grandparents (mother’s side & father’s side)
    • Any brothers/sisters of the guardianship child – as long as the brothers and/or sisters are at least 12 years old
  • There may be additional notice required in your specific situation, such as if the guardianship child is of Native American ancestry or developmentally disabled
  • If you cannot locate someone who you need to serve:
    • Submit the Request to Excuse Notice with Due Diligence Declaration (Local Form) to the clerk’s office showing that you tried to find the person but could not do so

Inform the court that you completed the service step. You must file your Notice of Hearing form (GC-020) with the clerk (1 week before court date) showing that you have served all the required persons. Page 2 of the Notice of Hearing form is used to list all persons who were mailed the papers. For anyone who received the papers by personal delivery, attach the form GC-020(P) proof of personal service.

Objection to Guardianship

Anyone who disagrees with a guardianship can let the judge know of their concerns by objecting to the guardianship. If you do not agree to the appointment of the guardian for the minor child, you will need to file an “Objection to Guardianship” with the Court before the proposed guardian is appointed Guardian. In the objection, you will need to explain to the judge why a guardianship is not in the child’s best interests or explain to the judge why you object to this particular person being guardian. You can use the “Objection to Guardianship” form located at the top of this page.

Please note, before you can file the Objection to Guardianship, you must have the proposed guardian served with a copy of your objection. The objection can be served by mail by anyone who is at least 18-years-old; however you cannot serve the proposed guardian. Be sure to have your server complete the second page of the objection, which is the Proof of Service of Objection, after they serve the proposed guardian. When you are ready to file, bring the original Objection to Guardianship and Proof of Service of Objection to the Probate Clerk’s Office with a copy.

Before You Go to Court . . .

  • Did you finish giving notice to everyone (relatives)?
  • Did you file your completed Notice of Hearing and Proof of Service form at the guardianship window?
  • Do you know that you can look on the internet to see if you are missing paperwork? The judge reads these “probate notes” when looking to see if your case is ready for a decision. (See instructions below)
  • Many times, there is more paperwork to be filed with the clerk before the judge can decide if you can be the guardian.

How to Locate Your Guardianship Probate Notes Online

1. Go to the court’s homepage

2. Under Online Services, scroll down and click on Probate Notes

3. Search for your hearing date

4. Click on the underlined File Name and read about your case

Online Training

Guardianship - Finding the Right Fit