How do I get guardianship of a child?

How do I get guardianship of a child?

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Preparing "the packet"

Filing for guardianship requires filing the guardianship “packet.”  The “packet” includes the petition for guardianship, along with several other forms.  The packet must be filled out completely before you can get a hearing date for the petition.  The packet includes the following:

Financial Statement – this discloses any assets of the child;

Interested Parties – you must identify the child’s parents, and who has custody (or claims custody) of the child;

Consent to appointment – you must identify the child’s parents, and who has custodythe proposed guardians must consent to appointment; (or claims custody) of the child;

Consent of parent – if possible, the consent of the child’s parent is filed with the petition;

Waiver of service – the parent can waive service of the summons – this avoids delays in proceeding to the hearing;

Request for Suitability Study – before the hearing, you must undergo a home study;

Background checks

Individuals seeking appointment as guardian must submit to a background check.  To be appointed, you must file proof you have passed the following background checks:

  1. Disqualification lists of the Departments a Mental Health, Social Services, and Health and Senior Services;

  2. The Abuse and Neglect Registries for Adults and Children;

  3. A Missouri criminal record review; and

  4. The sexual offender registry.

If a conservatorship is necessary, you must also provide a credit history.

Service of the petition

Once the complete packet has been filed, it must be served.  Service involves delivering a copy of the packet with notice of the hearing.  Service must be completed on the following:

  • the child if over 14 years old;

  • the parents; and

  • the person or entity nominated to serve as guardian or conservator.

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Guardianship Hearing

When the packet is filed, the guardianship case will be set for hearing.  At the hearing, you will need to present evidence that the child’s parents are “unable, unwilling, or unable” to serve as guardian for the child.

Questions about a guardianship or conservatorship? 

Schedule a FREE Consultation.

Guardianship lawyer Tim McCurdy

Guardianship requires a lawyer who will listen to you.  You need a partner to help guide you through the complex guardianship process.  Tim McCurdy will take the time to learn about your unique situation to help look for a solution.

LASHLY & BAER, P.C., is a mid-size Missouri law firm with deep roots in both Missouri and Illinois. As a full-service firm, we have developed a very diverse and extremely loyal base of local, regional and national clients.

Our lawyers work with clients ranging from individuals, large and small businesses, government agencies, hospitals and more.  Our practice areas include estate planning, elder law, probate, business and corporate law, education, government and public agencies, health care, labor and employment, real estate, professional liability, and transportation.

Our attorneys share a commitment to and a passion for our community, and we take pride in helping individuals, businesses and government entities across Missouri and Illinois.