How to End ("Terminate") a Guardianship

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If things have changed in people's lives, a parent, child or guardian (or an Indian custodian, or the child's tribe if the child is of Native American ancestry) may ask the court to terminate the guardianship. To do this, the petitioner - the person asking for the change - has to fill out three forms and file them with a court clerk. 

Once the forms have been filed at the courthouse:

  • Copies of the Petition and Notice of Hearing need to be given to all of the people involved who have not signed the petition to terminate the guardianship. All of the second-degree relatives (the grandparents, for example) are entitled to notice. The service, once again, is to be done by someone 18 years or older who is not involved in the case.
  • Proof of Service Opens new window forms also need to be filed with the court.

The court will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, the person asking to end the guardianship must be able to prove to the court that this is in the child's best interest. (See California Probate Code, Section 1601) Opens new window

If you (the petitioner) want the child to live with you, the judge will want to see evidence that terminating the guardianship is in the child's best interest. Among the factors the court will consider will be whether:

  • you have a stable place to live;
  • you have a source of income;
  • you are "fit" or have been sufficiently rehabilitated;
  • you can provide a good home for your child;
  • the child is emotionally bonded into the guardian's household; and
  • you have some sort of emotional bond and established relationship with the child.

If the child is more than 12 years old, what he or she wants - and with whom he or she wishes to live - will be taken into account.  


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