Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

How to Get Guardianship of Your Child Back

Guardianship is an arrangement by which a court or a parent appoints someone to make decisions for a minor child. States have different laws on the specific powers and duties of a guardian.

Parents can give guardianship to another person for a number of reasons. A court may also assign guardianship rights to another person if it finds it is within the best interests of the child. Unlike adoption, parents will retain a legal relationship with the child even though someone else is taking care of their child.

Parents can get their guardianship rights back either by revoking the original guardianship or asking for a court order to that effect, depending on the circumstances.

This article discusses ways parents can get the guardianship of their child back.

Ways to Terminate Guardianship

Typically, a guardianship is automatically terminated when one of the following occurs:

  • The child becomes 18 years old, or reaches the majority age in the state
  • The child dies
  • The judge terminates the guardianship after determining it is no longer beneficial to the child
  • The current guardian willingly renounces guardianship. In such cases, the court will appoint a new guardian if it deems one necessary.

How Do I Get Guardianship Back?

The court will terminate guardianship through a court order. The court will look at several factors to determine whether or not to terminate the guardianship. These include:

  • Is the termination within the best interests of the child?
  • Are the parents in stable and fit condition to become guardians?
  • What is the preference of the child, if the child is older than 12 years old?

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Get Guardianship Back?

If the guardianship was ordered by a court, the first thing you need to do is petition the court outlining the reasons why you should get the guardianship. Per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), you need to file the petition in the family court in the child's home state. A home state is simply where the child lived for six months prior to when you filed the petition.

If you lose guardianship due to issues with your mental health or financial problems, you must show the court proof of treatment and that you are financially capable of caring for your child.

Additional Resources

Get Help With Your Guardianship Case

There are rigorous steps you need to follow to get your guardianship back. An experienced family law attorney can help by assessing your situation and determining the best way forward for you to become legal guardians of your kids again.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Find a Lawyer

More Options