Guardianship FAQ

Once a guardianship is granted by the Probate Court, it remains in effect until the minor reaches the age of 18 or until a petition to terminate the guardianship is granted.

From the time the petition for guardianship is filed, it may take up to two months for the guardianship to be granted. The amount of time depends on the proper notice to relatives and a completed investigation as to the appropriateness of the guardianship.

If you have filed a petition for guardianship and there is an immediate need for the court to appoint someone due to an emergency, you may file an ex parte petition for temporary guardianship of the minor. A temporary guardianship is granted only if there is a true emergency, such as the minor needing immediate medical treatment. The temporary guardianship is only in place until the general guardianship is heard.

No. A temporary guardianship is only for an emergency until the court can hear the general guardianship.

You may search the Court Index under the child's name. If there is a guardianship, the index will indicate a case number assigned to the case. With the case number, you may visit the court to determine if the guardianship was granted, who was named as the child's guardian, and if the guardianship is still in effect.

Yes. You must always keep the court informed of your current address. If you move within the State of California, you must complete and mail to the court the Change of Residence Notice (GC-080).

Yes. You must have the court's permission before moving a child under guardianship from California.  You may obtain this permission by completing the form Petition to Fix Residence Outside the State of California (GC-085) and filing it with the court that appointed you guardian. This process may take some time to complete, so you should file the form as soon as you know you will be moving.  

No. You cannot allow the child to live elsewhere without court permission.  As the court-appointed guardian, you are legally responsible for the child. The child's residence must remain with you as long as the guardianship is in place.

It will depend on why you want to end the guardianship.  The most common reasons are:

  • A guardianship of the person only, automatically ends when the minor reaches age 18. Please call the court and ask that the guardianship be closed.
  • The parent is capable of resuming care of the child and the guardianship is no longer needed. You or the parent will need to file form Petition for Termination of Guardianship (Form GC-255).
  • You are no longer able to care for the child and wish to have someone else named as guardian. You or the new guardian will need to file all the same forms used to start the original guardianship. The procedure for appointment of a successor guardian is the same as for the original appointment. You will need to sign a declaration that you are resigning as guardian and state the reason for the resignation. 

Court staff cannot give legal advice.  Please see General Legal Information & Assistance Programs for programs that may assist you.