Minor guardianships are used to provide legal authority for adults other than the parents of the minor to take care of the minor for a short or long time because the parent or parents of the minor are unwilling or unable to safely and adequately care for their child. While a minor guardianship is in place the guardian, and not the parent, has the right and responsibility to make decisions about and care for the minor child.
The parent of an unmarried minor may appoint a guardian for his/her child through a will or other writing. If both parents are dead or legally incapacitated, or if the surviving parent no longer has any parental rights, the appointment becomes effective when the guardian files an acceptance of appointment unless the minor is 14 years old or older and objects.
The proper venue (place) to file a petition for guardianship is the Probate Court in the county where the minor resides or is found.
There are two kinds of guardianships for minors, Full Guardianship and Limited Guardianship.
A full guardian of a minor has the same powers and responsibilities toward a child as does a custodial parent except that the guardian is not obligated to support the child with personal funds and is not liable to third parties for the acts of the minor. Select the link for more details regarding full guardianship.
A limited guardianship can be put in place with the consent of the custodial parent(s) for a specific period of time to enable the parent(s) to address problems that prevent the children from living with their parent(s). Only the custodial parent or parents can petition the court for a limited guardianship. Please read How to File a Minor Guardianship Petition.