How To Get Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court

How To Get Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court

How to get guardianship of a child without going to court? A lot of our readers ask this question. In fact, it is a closely followed one after how to win a custody battle.

Our in-house legal experts have researched divorce, separation, and guardianship cases for quite a while. Therefore, today, we take on the responsibility of answering your question honestly.

When you become a guardian, you know it can be a life-changing moment. Most of us think about the child first, but for that adult, too, it is a major thing!

You may have had the wish to be a guardian in your heart for a while. Therefore, today, we are here to tell you how to get guardianship of a child without going to court. Yes, you may not have to stand in a crowded courtroom and face the daunting task.

So, let us begin right away!

Covering Bases- What Is Guardianship? What Rights Does A Guardian Enjoy?

Over the past five decades, almost 1 million more American children live apart from their parents.

Moreover, around 7.7 million live with relatives. This only shows that we need to know more about the significance of guardianship. So, let us quickly get to know what guardian roles are legally and their rights.  


The exact definition of guardianship can change depending on which state you live in. However, according to a generally accepted definition, guardianship happens when there is a minor involved in question.

Hence, guardianship involves a legal tie between a minor and a guardian. Now, this is an understanding through which the law entrusts you with the care and responsibility of the child. You are responsible for proving and meeting the essential needs of the child.

Thus, as a guardian, the safety, sustenance, healthcare, and decision-making rights for education and health matters are all your responsibility.

How Is Guardianship Different From Adoption?

How to get guardianship of a child without going to court? By the definition we gave above, guardianship sounds quite like adoption, right? So, do you go through an adoption process to get guardianship? No, guardianship is completely different from adoption.

Guardianship and adoption do share the goal of offering stable, nurturing environments to children and teens. Moreover, both legal procedures have full parental duties at their core. 

But adoption is a permanent step. It first starts with the termination of parental rights. In contrast, guardianships are usually temporary. They aim for stability until the original parents are in a position to provide and care for the child. 

Moreover, the guardianship will stay in place until the child reaches adulthood. Therefore, guardianship may not always be an extension of a divorce like the span of alimony or a custody battle.

Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court: What Are The Common Reasons For Guardianship?

How to get guardianship of a child without going to court? To understand the method to get guardianship, we need to know why the law allows guardianship. After all, the child growing up under a parent’s care is an ideal case. So, why would the law call for the guardianship of a child?

These are the circumstances under which guardianship takes place.

Reasons For Guardianship

Guardianship is the legal step to preserve family, community, and cultural bonds. Moreover, it is important for a child to be around a relative or close associate in difficult cases. These are steps to guarantee stability, care, and protection when the child needs it.

These are common conditions when guardianship takes place.

  • Deceased parents
  • Unsafe living conditions for the child, like substance abuse at home
  • The inability of parents to care for the child
  • Abuse and neglect of the child
  • Finally, guardianship as a means to protect the child’s finances

Furthermore, parents of children with disabilities may consider guardianship after the parents pass away.

How To Get Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court?

To understand if you can get guardianship through a non-court method, we will need to check how to get guardianship in the first place. Each state has its own specific procedures and notifications to direct the process of child guardianship.

Usually, like most matters under childcare, state laws govern guardianship laws. So, your first move will be to check the laws of the child’s home state. Next, you can book a consultation with a family lawyer. They can give you clear insight into the necessary steps you need to take next.

How To File For Guardianship? (Court Involved)

Typically, the process involves these steps. 

Filing for the guardianship petition in the child’s residing county. Moreover, this step comes with a residency requirement. Therefore, you need to have lived in the child’s state for a minimum of six months.

Court Hearing

Yes, the court usually has a say in the guardianship matters. Therefore, the person looking to be a guardian has to participate in a hearing. Here, a judge carefully assesses all evidence, asks questions, and even hears testimony. This helps them to determine where the child’s best interests lie.

Sometimes, a court investigator may even interview the potential guardian. This step takes place before the hearing. Therefore, before the hearing takes place, the judge will take all steps necessary to determine if the potential guardian is capable of providing and caring for the child.

Obtaining Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court

Yes, obtaining guardianship of a child without going to court is completely possible. Most state laws ask you to get a court hearing for guardianship approval. However, informal arrangements, like temporary or emergency guardianships, may not need this requirement.

Moreover, these setups are usually short-term. Guardianship of a child without going to court can only continue until the court finalizes the guardianship petition. So, even if you do not go to court, the petition is always the first step.

Temporary Guardianship Process Without Going To Court

How to get guardianship of a child without going to court? This is only applicable when parents can’t care for their child temporarily. Some states allow parents to grant temporary decision-making authority to a person. However, this has to be a trusted individual for there to be guardianship without court involvement.

For How Long Can You Obtain Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court?

When you obtain a guardianship without going to court, it usually lasts for around six months. Moreover, if you want to extend it, you may have to sign another temporary agreement.

Otherwise, you can go to court seeking permanent guardianship.

How Can You Get Emergency Guardianship Of A Child Without Going To Court?

An emergency guardianship may arise out of immediate needs of a child. For example, if a parent has a medical emergency, they might immediately need a guardian to take care of their child.

Therefore, in these conditions, some states call for a rapid court hearing. However, there are other state laws that call for the appointment of an emergency guardian without formalities.

But there’s a catch. This system of guardianship will only last for about 14 days/ 2 weeks. After that time, the parents and the guardian have to visit the court for a permanent appointment.

To Conclude

Now that we have come to the end of our article on how to get guardianship of a child without going to court, let us point out one more detail. You can see a Guardianship’s impact on the psychology, finances, and emotions for all parties.

These matters are incredibly intricate because they involve the well-being of the child. Therefore, getting guidance from adept lawyers who are well-versed in state laws is important.

A lawyer assists in assessing whether guardianship is the best-case scenario according to the facts of your case. They guide the process and help you secure guardianship without court involvement.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.

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