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To request to become the guardian for a minor, you'll need to file:
Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to file:
To file for guardianship of a minor in person, you should bring your completed forms to the Probate and Family Court in the county where the child lives, unless there is already an ongoing case involving the child in a Juvenile Court or District Court.
Once you've filed the forms, the court will send or give you a Notice and Order. This is a paper that tells you when your court hearing will be and the people who need to be sent notice. You'll need to give notice by providing copies of the Petition and the Order and Notice to the interested parties, which includes:
The Notice and Order will have a hearing date, and you'll need to attend that hearing.
The minor child has the right to have a lawyer to represent them. The minor or someone acting on their behalf can ask the court to appoint a lawyer for them. If the minor or person acting on their behalf asks for a lawyer, the court must appoint an attorney. If the minor can't afford a lawyer, the court can order that the minor's lawyer be paid by the state.
If you're a parent of the minor child who is the subject of the guardianship of minor case, you have a right to be represented by an attorney. If you want an attorney and can't afford to pay for one and you give proof that you're indigent, an attorney will be assigned to you. If you want an attorney, you should immediately request one in person or by mail to the court location where your case will be held.
At this court hearing, the court will determine if:
The court makes the appointment on a court form called Decree and Order of Appointment of Guardian of a Minor, and issues a letter of appointment. If the court isn't able to make a final determination at this hearing, a temporary decree of guardianship may be granted, and another court date will be scheduled.
After you're named guardian of a minor, you'll be expected to act in the child’s best interest and exercise care, diligence, and prudence. Once a year, you'll need to file an annual report with the court called the Annual Report Form. You'll be responsible for filing the report; the court will not send you a reminder.