Full Guardianship of Minors - Grand Traverse County Probate Court

Full Guardianship
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 Waiver/Suspension of Fees, MC 20 (PDF), with a Financial Statement, MC 287 (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 the day of your hearing, or your hearing will be cancelled.
  • 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.
Human Services Investigation
After a petition is filed, the court appoints the Department of 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
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 Human Services to conduct an investigation.

Required Forms
  • PC 571 (PDF) – Acceptance of Appointment (signed by any proposed guardian)
  • PC 651 (PDF) – Petition for Appointment of Guardian of a Minor
  • PC 670 (PDF) – Minor Guardianship Social History
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:
The address of the incarcerated party can be found online.

Hearing Date & Service
When you file a completed Petition for Appointment of Guardian, you will get a Notice of Hearing in the mail, along with an Information Sheet for Petitions, which will provide information regarding how interested persons can be served.

You will then be responsible for serving a copy of the Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor and the Notice of Hearing on all interested parties. If you filed anything in addition to the petition itself, you must also serve copies of those items upon all interested persons.

More Information
Please note that if a guardian wants a minor child to return to his or her parent(s), only the Judge may make that determination. The guardian may not return the minor child to the parent(s) on his or her own decision. Also, the guardian must seek the Court’s permission to move a minor out of Grand Traverse County.

Note: 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.