Guardianship of a Minor

 

A minor child or any person interested in the welfare of the minor may petition for appointment of a guardian of the child.  The petition must be filed in the County where the child is living.

A guardian of a minor child has the powers and responsibilities of a parent regarding the child’s support, care, education and welfare.  A guardian shall act at all times in the child’s best interest and exercise reasonable care, diligence and prudence.

All forms that are linked below can be filled out by the applicant on-line.  However, the applicant still needs to print out the form, sign it and then submit it to Plymouth County Probate and Family Court either by mail or in person.

What_to_file:

Where to file

What happens after you file

What to file:

Petition (Click for form) - There is no filing fee for the petition
Bond  (click for form).  A bond with sureties is required unless waived by a Judge.  If a Judge  allows a bond with sureties to be waived, there is no fee for the bond without sureties.    If the court requires a bond with sureties, the fee is $50.00  (Payable to “Plymouth Probate and Family Court”. Bank check or money order is required.  No personal checks are accepted.)
Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody of a child, you MUST file this form.

Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody (Click for Page 1 and Page 2)

Petitioner’s Information Sheet, sometimes called the CP-2 form (Click for form)
Guardianship Information Form - Department of Children and Families (Click for form)

If an emergency exists and a Temporary Guardian Appointment is needed, you must also file the following:

Verified Motion for Temporary Guardianship (Click for Form)
Temporary Bond  - See information above for bond, which also applies to this bond. Bond  (click for form).
Motion to waive or shorten notice (Click for Form)

Where to file:

All papers above should be filed :

By mail to:

Plymouth County Probate and Family Court

ATTN:  Probate Department

52 Obery Street, Suite 1130

Plymouth, MA 02360

In person at:

Plymouth County Probate and Family Court

52 Obery Street

Plymouth, MA 02360

or

Plymouth County Probate and Family Court

215 Main Street

Brockton, MA 02301

What to expect after you file:

If this is an emergency: Once you file all your papers with the Court, you will go before the Court that day.  The Court may enter an Order appointing you  Temporary Guardian. Note that this appointment is only TEMPORARY and limited to the time period established by the Court.   The court will give you copies of the order of temporary guardianship along with a notice form.  It is your responsibility to deliver or mail a copy of the order of temporary guardianship along with the Notice of Temporary Guardianship to all persons interested within seven (7) days as provided in the notice.  Once you notify the interested parties, you MUST file with this court within seven (7) days of the date of appointment, the “Certificate of Service,” listing who was served and what type of service was made.  A citation will issue shortly thereafter with a date to appear for a hearing. This citation  must be served on all parties interested  prior to the hearing date as provided in the citation.  If no objections have been filed on or before the hearing date, and if your petition with proof of service of citation is completed correctly, the petition may be allowed and the guardian appointed on the hearing date. 

If this is not an emergency: Once you file all your papers with the Court, the Court will issue a citation with a date to appear for a hearing.  You must comply with the terms of this citation for service on all parties interested  prior to the hearing date.  If no objections have been filed on or before the hearing date, and the proof of service of citation is completed correctly, your petition may be allowed and the guardian appointed, on this hearing date. 

If the matter is contested, the Court will schedule a Pre-Trial Conference.  At the Pre-Trial Conference, a trial date will be established if the matter is not resolved.