Limited Guardianship of Minors - Grand Traverse County Probate Court

Limited 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

Only the custodial parent(s) may file. If the parents share joint legal custody, both parents must sign the Petition.


  • 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 your petition is processed.
  • 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.

Investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services

After a petition is filed, the court appoints the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the matter. One of their workers will contact the proposed guardian 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-Limited will usually happen at least 30 days after you file your petition. This will allow time for the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an investigation.  The court will notify all interested persons of the hearing date and time.

Required Forms

  • PC 650 (PDF) - Petition for Appointment of Limited Guardian of a Minor
  • PC 652 (PDF) - Limited Guardianship Placement Plan
  • PC 670 (PDF) - Minor Guardianship Social History
  • PC 571 (PDF) - Acceptance of Appointment (signed by any proposed guardian)

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 at the Department of Corrections website.

More Information

Please note that any requests for termination or modification of the guardianship must be filed with the court PRIOR TO any changes being made.  Until the Judge makes a determination, the child will remain in the care of the guardian.  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 the 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.