Limited Guardianship | Full Guardianship
What Else do I Need to Know | Instructions for Filing Paperwork
What is Limited Guardianship?
- A Limited Guardianship is a voluntary arrangement by a Court Order when the parents want someone else to assume parental duties. A parent must consent to a Limited Guardianship.
What parental rights and responsibilities does the parent have with Limited Guardianship?
- The parent agrees to the custody of the child by the Guardian and abides by plan drawn up that includes visitation and support. This is a mutually agreeable document that is reviewed annually in a written report the Limited Guardian files with the Court. The Guardianship does not exempt the parent from liability. In other words, if the child does something that the parent could be held legally responsible for in terms of money, the guardianship does not allow the parent to avoid that responsibility.
How important is the Placement Plan?
- The Placement Plan explains to the Court why the parent wants someone else to provide care for the minor. It also provides for parenting time and financial support for the minor. It further states the length of the guardianship and any other provisions needed for the minor’s care and custody.
- A Placement Plan can only be changed through a Court Hearing. The parent(s) must be made be aware that parental rights could be terminated for failure to comply with the plan.
What are the advantages of a Limited Guardianship?
- The authority of a guardian is more likely to be accepted as a legal caretaker. For instance, a Guardian can apply for benefits due to the minor, such as SSI, insurance, etc.
What can’t a Limited Guardian do?
- A Limited Guardian may not consent to adoption, release a minor for adoption, or consent to the marriage of a minor.
What is Full Guardianship?
Full Guardianship provides the minor with stability and more certainty when the parents cannot or are unable to provide that environment.
What are a Full Guardian’s responsibilities?
- A Guardian has the powers and responsibilities of a parent. The Guardian must provide for the minor’s education, social activities, and authorize medical or other professional care and/or treatment for the minor
- The Guardian must submit an annual report to the Court on condition of the minor. It includes but not limited to medical care, mental health treatment, educational status of the child. It should clearly state the reasons to continue the guardianship.
When is a Full Guardian not responsible?
- The Guardian is not responsible for 3rd party liability (such as a suit for damages incurred by the minor, result of an automobile accident where the minor was at fault, etc.). A parent can be ordered to supply monetary support for the child.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
- There is a $160 filing fee for the guardianship which must be paid the day papers are filed
- Home study
- Required for a Limited Guardianship if the child is less than 6 years of age or if DHS is involved with the family.
- Full Guardianship – a home study will be held regardless of the age of the child.
- The home study fee is $60.00 and payable to Probate Court.
- An Annual Review is required. A form will be mailed to you on a yearly basis.
- If the minor is under 6 years of age, the review will be held in Court.
- The Guardian must notify the Court of a change in address.
- If the parent(s) of the minor child is under the age of 18 years, a Guardian Ad Litem will be appointed.
Primary Differences of a Full and a Limited Guardianship
- In a Limited Guardianship the parent and guardian have a mutual agreement regarding visitation, child support; and the parent must sign the petition allowing the guardianship.
- Full Guardianship does not require the consent of a parent. It most frequently provides the minor with a more stable environment and longer-term relationship.
- A Full Guardianship allows the guardian to give consent to a minor to marry, and with the Court’s permission, can consent to the adoption of a minor.
How is a Guardianship terminated?
- The Guardianship may be terminated by the filing of a petition with the Court, or the minor becomes 18 years old.
- The Judge may terminate the guardianship at a Review Hearing.
What if I have other questions or need help understanding and/or filling out the forms?
If you have questions that are not answered on this web page, you should seek the advice of an attorney.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR FILING PAPERWORK
Pick up a Guardianship packet from Probate Court on the 5th floor of the Hall of Justice.
Return completed papers to Probate Court. If it is determined this is a Family Court case, you will be referred to Circuit Court Records on the 6th floor to turn in the paperwork and to pay the filing fee of $160.00.
You will be notified by letter, within 10 days, of your hearing date. Using this information you will then fill out the Notice of Hearing and mail it, along with a copy of the Petition, to all interested parties.*
Fill out the Proof of Service (per instruction packet) and bring it, along with the original Notice of Hearing, to Circuit Court Records.
If necessary, a home study will be held prior to the hearing. The cost of the home study is $60.00 and is paid in the Probate Court on the 5th floor.
A certified copy of the Letters of Guardianship will be mailed to you after the hearing.
*Interested parties are:
- the minor if 14 years of age or older;
- each person who has had the principal care and custody of the minor during the last 63 days
- the parents of the minor, or if neither of them is living, any grandparents and the adult presumptive heirs of the minor, and
- the nominated guardian.