Limited Guardianship - Starting a Case

A limited guardianship is different than a "full guardianship" in that the custodial parent is the petitioner and is voluntarily agreeing to the suspension of their parental rights. The term "limited" is misleading because the powers of the guardian are the same as in a "full guardianship". The custodial parent(s) and the guardian enter into a Limited Guardianship Placement Plan which is then approved by the Court. Only the custodial parent(s) of the child can file a Limited Guardianship petition. If both parents are custodial parents - both must sign the petition.

Filing Fee

  • $175 per child (Non-refundable filing fee)

Forms Required

Upon the filing of a petition, a hearing will be scheduled at least 5 to 6 weeks after the filing of the petition to allow the Department of Human Services to perform an investigation of the proposed guardianship and make a recommendation to the Court as to the appropriateness of the guardianship and proposed guardian.


It is the petitioner's responsibility to ensure that proper and timely service is made on all interested parties. If proper and timely service is not made on all interested persons, your hearing may be adjourned and/or your petition dismissed.

Service for hearings must be completed at least 14 days prior to the hearing date if by mail and at least 7 days prior to the hearing date if served personally.


It is recommended that the documents be brought to the Probate Court office by the petitioner for filing. Filings may be completed by mail, however, there may be a delay in obtaining a hearing date if your documents are not complete or correct.

Keep copies of all documents filed with the Court for your records and to provide to the interested persons. Copies obtained from the Court are $1 per page.