temporary-guardianship-of-minorTemporary guardianship of a minor can be established when, for a variety of reasons, the natural guardians (parents) are temporarily unable to care for their minor children and choose to place them with a friend or relative who can care for the children until the custodial parent(s) can do so again.

Examples of circumstances in which temporary guardianship may be useful include:

  1. when a single parent or both parents have relocated but the parent(s) want to let the minor child remain in his or her school for the rest of the academic year;

  2. when a single or both parents are in the military and have been called away to active duty; or

  3. when a single parent has been incarcerated or otherwise unable to care for the child due to medical or financial limitations.

During the term of the temporary guardianship, the temporary guardian(s) hold all the powers of a natural guardian(s), including the authority to consent to medical treatment and enroll the child (ward) in school.

In which county do I file my Petition for Temporary Guardianship of a Minor?

  • If you are a Georgia resident, you must file a Petition for Temporary Letters of Guardianship of Minor in the county of your domicile and you must have physical custody of the minor.
  • If you are a non-resident of this state, you must file the petition in the county where the minor is found and you must have physical control of the minor at the time of filing the petition.

What is required at the time of filing?

The following documents must be presented or filed with the petition:

  • A completed Petition for Temporary Letters of Guardianship of Minor along with all applicable fees
  • A certified copy of the minor’s birth certificate
  • A valid issued Driver’s License or identification card. If you are a Rockdale County resident and your Driver’s License has an address other than your present Rockdale County address, additional proof of residence is required in the form of a utility bill, rental lease agreement, etc.

The Petitioner(s) must appear in person and take an oath before Letters of Temporary Guardianship will be issued.

At the time of filing, the proposed guardian will be required to complete a criminal history form for a criminal background search and a guardian information form. The Probate Court staff will complete a background search for the proposed guardian and, if a criminal history is revealed, the Judge will determine whether the guardianship will be granted, or the petition will be referred to Juvenile Court where attorneys and guardian ad litem can determine what is in the best interest of the child(ren).

If you are filing to become temporary guardian for more than one child, please email [email protected] .

What if the minor is already subject to a custody or temporary guardianship order entered by another court?

This Court will not grant temporary guardianship to a non-custodial parent when a custody order is in place. Also, this Court will not create a new temporary guardianship if a minor is already subject to a temporary guardianship created in another state or by another Georgia court. In both cases, you must return to the original court and request modification or termination of the custody or guardianship order that is in place over the child.

How much does it cost to file the petition?

Email the guardianship department at [email protected] for the exact filing fees. Payments may then be submitted by cash, money order, firm check or debit/credit card. All debit/credit card transactions will include a $4 service fee.

When does a temporary guardianship of a minor terminate?

A temporary guardianship terminates on the date upon which the earliest of the following occurs:

  • The minor reaches 18;
  • The minor is adopted;
  • The minor is emancipated;
  • The minor dies;
  • The temporary guardian dies;
  • Letters of guardianship are issued to a permanent or testamentary guardian; or
  • A court order terminating the temporary guardianship is entered.

Also, either natural guardian (parent) of the minor may at any time petition the court to terminate a temporary guardianship by filing a Petition to Terminate Temporary Guardianship. The temporary guardian may consent to the petition, but if he or she does not, the Court must have the temporary guardian personally served by the sheriff with a copy of your petition. If the temporary guardian objects to the termination of the temporary guardianship, the probate court may choose to hear the objection itself. Alternatively, the probate court may transfer the case to the juvenile court for a determination of whether the termination of the temporary guardianship is in the best interest of the minor.

How may a temporary guardian of a minor resign?

A temporary guardian may petition the court for acceptance of the guardian’s resignation by filing a Petition of Temporary Guardian(s) to Resign from Temporary Guardianship of Minor and Appoint Successor Temporary Guardian. The petition must show to the satisfaction of the court that:

  • The guardian is unable to continue to serve due to age, illness, infirmity, or other good cause;
  • Greater burdens have developed upon the office of guardian than those that were originally contemplated or should have been contemplated when the guardian was qualified and the additional burdens work a hardship upon the guardians;
  • Disagreement exists between the minor and the guardian or between the guardian and the conservator in respect of the guardians care of the minor, which disagreement and conflict appear to be detrimental to the minor;
  • The resignation of the guardian will result in or permit substantial financial benefit to the minor; or
  • The resignation would not be disadvantageous to the minor.

The petition for resignation must also include the name of a suitable person who is willing to accept the guardianship.

If after a hearing as the court deems appropriate, the court is satisfied that the petition for resignation of the guardian and the appointment of the successor guardian should be granted, the court will enter an order appointing the successor guardian and accept the resignation.