Guardianship and Conservatorship Law

How To Get Guardianship of Your Child Back

  • Guardianships are an arrangement by which a court or a parent appoints someone to make decisions for a minor child.
  • There are several ways for you to recover guardianship of the child, though the process depends largely on the circumstances that led to the guardianship.
  • For an issue as complex as guardianship of a minor child, it is best to speak with an attorney before deciding best next steps.
  • Guardianships are legal processes where a person or court allows another person to make decisions and care for a minor child.

    This article discusses ways parents can get the guardianship of their child back. While this article provides an overview of how parents can recover guardianship rights of their child, for specific answers to your specific questions, you should contact an experienced local family law attorney.

    Reobtaining Guardianship

    A guardianship is an arrangement by which a court or a parent appoints someone to make decisions for a minor child. The biological parents then temporarily give up their parental rights to the child. Parents can give guardianship to another person for several reasons.

    A court may also assign guardianship rights to another person if it finds it is within the best interests of the child. Unlike adoption, parents will retain a legal relationship with the child even though someone else is taking care of their child.

    There are several ways for you to recover guardianship of the child. The answer to this question will depend largely on the circumstances that led to the guardianship.

    Revoking Guardianship

    First, you can recover legal guardianship of your child or children by revoking the original guardianship. This is done when you sought the original guardianship voluntarily.

    It’s best to speak to a lawyer to learn about revocation of guardianship. States have different laws on the specific of revocation. Also, every case is different. Every child is different. Every parent’s situation is different. A local family law attorney will be able to assess your case and provide legal advice tailored to you and the laws of where you live.

    Requesting Termination of Guardianship

    You can also ask the court to terminate the guardianship and recover custody of your child. The court can terminate guardianship through a court order. The court will look at several factors to determine whether or not to terminate the guardianship. These factors include:

    • The termination of the guardianship and a return to the parents is in the best interests of the child.
    • The parents’ circumstances have changed since the start of the guardianship making the return of legal custody to the parents in the child’s best interest. This can be financial changes or legal changes. Parents can also take parenting classes.
    • The preference of the child, if the child is older than 12 years old.
    • Ordering a court hearing on the issue to hear testimony from foster care providers, family members, the current guardian, the legal guardian, the child’s parents, and anyone else able to offer testimony and insight on the custody of the child.

    If a court ordered the initial guardianship, the first thing you need to do is petition the court outlining the reasons why you should get the guardianship. Per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), you need to file the petition in the family court in the child’s home state. A home state is simply where the child lived for six months before when you filed the petition.

    If you lost your parental rights due to issues with your mental health or financial problems, you must show the court proof of treatment and that you are financially capable of caring for your child. To that end, if the court had any conditions or orders for you, be sure you have complied with those. Those often include parenting classes, child support, a period of supervised visitation rights, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or parenting programs. Whatever the court told you to do as a condition to get your child back – do it.

    The court will always make the best interests of the child its top priority when making decisions that affect the child.

    Automatic Termination

    The guardianship can be terminated automatically. Typically, a guardianship is automatically terminated when one of the following occurs:

    • The child becomes 18 years old or reaches the majority age in the state
    • The child dies
    • The judge terminates the guardianship after determining it is no longer beneficial to the child
    • The current guardian willingly renounces guardianship. In such cases, the court will appoint a new guardian if it deems one necessary.

    An experienced family law attorney will be able to help you prepare for the hearing and help you prepare the best case you can for the return of your child. Contact a local family law attorney for assistance in getting guardianship back.

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