Full Guardianship of Minors - Grand Traverse County Probate Court
This page is meant to provide you with general information in regards to filing a petition. Please note: Our staff is prohibited by law from giving you legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you require assistance filling out these forms.
Who Can File
A Petition for Full Guardianship can be filed by any interested person or by the minor if he or she is 14 years old or older.
Filing fee: The filing fee is $175 per petition (per child), payable by cash, check, or money order. If the petitioner can show that they are unable to pay this fee, he or she must file a Fee Waiver Request, MC 20 (PDF). The court will review the information provided and will either grant or deny your request. If the fees are not waived, you will be required to pay the filing fee before your petition is processed.
Certified copy: If you request a certified copy of your Letters of Guardianship, the cost is $12. This fee cannot be waived.
Publication fee: If you do not know the address of an interested person in the guardianship matter, you will be required to publish in the newspaper. This fee is around $75 and is subject to change. This fee is collected by the newspaper.
Minor Child if 14 or Older
If the minor who is the subject of the petition is 14 years or older, you are required to ask them to sign the nomination portion of the 2nd page. If the minor refuses to sign, or they are unable to sign, they must attend the court hearing.
Investigation by Department of Health and Human Services
After a petition is filed, the court appoints the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the matter. One of their workers will contact the petitioner and the child in order to visit the home and write a report for the court.
The hearing on the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of a Minor will usually happen at least 30 days after you file your petition. This will allow time for the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an investigation. The court will notify all interested persons of the hearing date and time.
PC 651 (PDF) – Petition for Appointment of Guardian of a Minor
PC 571 (PDF) – Acceptance of Appointment (signed by any proposed guardian)
MC 97a (PDF) - Addendum to Protected Personal Identifying Information
Other Required Items
A copy of the minor’s birth certificate
A copy of the most recent Court Order that affects the child. (Judgment of Divorce, Judgment of Paternity, Child Support Order or Custody Order, Order Terminating or Suspending Parental Rights, Order Determining Mental Incompetency of Parent, etc.) These are obtained from the Circuit Court in the county in which the order was entered.
A copy of a death certificate for a parent, if applicable
Incarcerated Parents Requirement
If a parent is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (in a prison, not a county jail), the following additional form is required:
Please note that for termination of the guardianship, the Judge must make the determination that termination is appropriate. The guardian is still legally responsible for the minor child until a petition is filed, a hearing is held, and the Judge determines in the hearing that the guardianship should be terminated. Also, the guardian may not move the minor out of Grand Traverse County without prior court approval.
These instructions are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to give you general information. If your petition is contested or complex, it is recommended that you talk to an attorney.