Legal Forms for Temporary Guardianship

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

Legal Forms for Temporary Guardianship

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

A temporary guardian takes over the day-to-day care of your child for a specific period. For example, you may grant a temporary guardianship if you'll be out of town for an extended period or if you're recovering from medical treatment.

Mother and grandmother playing with an infant

The temporary guardian can make daily decisions about the child's life, including enrolling the child in school, requesting medical treatment on behalf of the child, and making decisions regarding the child's welfare. The temporary guardian isn't financially responsible for the child. That duty remains with you, the natural guardian.

The legal forms required to establish a temporary guardianship vary state to state. Be sure to check your state laws before you create a temporary guardianship.

Choosing Your Temporary Guardian

Because a temporary guardian serves as a parent surrogate to the child, you want to select someone you trust and with whom you and your child feel comfortable. Make sure you have more than one option in case your first choice declines.

Decide what decisions must be made on the child's behalf in your absence. Make sure you advise your temporary guardian of any medical issues your child should have, such as specific allergies. Additionally, you should determine how long the temporary guardianship should last, such as for six months.

Completing Your Petition for Appointment

To effectuate a temporary guardianship, you must complete the appropriate petition for temporary appointment forms provided by your local probate court. On this form, you can propose your choice of temporary guardian for your child. Make sure that your recommended choice has agreed to assume guardianship responsibilities. Additionally, you'll list the length of time that the temporary guardianship will be maintained.

Each court may require a filing fee for the completion and filing of the petition for temporary appointment. If you have little income, you can request a fee waiver from your local probate court. Most states require a notarized form. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.

Completing Required Affidavits

You may be required to complete affidavits along with your petition for temporary guardianship. For example, you may need to complete a child temporary guardianship affidavit outlining where the child has lived for the past few years along with any other parties having guardianship or custody of your child. If the child is living in intolerable conditions, your state may require an affidavit alleging unacceptable conditions.

In addition to affidavits, you may file an acceptance of guardianship form. This outlines your temporary guardian's approval of the guardianship. Finally, if you receive public assistance, such as Medicaid, you may file a statement describing your receipt of public support.

Appearing in Probate Court

After you file your temporary guardianship forms, you'll attend a probate court hearing. At this hearing, the probate court judge will review all of your guardianship forms and any other relevant documents and hear any testimony.

In deciding whether to approve the guardianship, the probate court judge will determine if all records are in order and if the appointment is in the best interest of the child.

Notifying Interested Parties

After the probate court approves your temporary guardianship forms, you must inform all applicable persons or entities, such as the child's school or doctor. To inform these parties, make sure you provide a copy of the temporary guardianship forms to each person or entity. You may give guardianship copies by certified mail, return receipt, or service by the local sheriff. Be sure to check your local rules regarding notice.

Appointing a temporary guardianship is an important decision. You may have questions about how and when to appoint a temporary guardianship. You also may have questions about the specific rules in your state. If you do, you should consult with an attorney or use an online service provider for assistance or guidance. By seeking legal advice, you can assure yourself that you've correctly appointed a temporary guardian who acts in the best interest of your child.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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