Minor Guardianships - Grand Traverse County Probate Court

There are 2 types of Minor Guardianships; full guardianship and limited guardianship.


For a full guardianship, any of the following situations must have occurred:
  • Parental rights of both parents or the surviving parent must have been terminated or suspended by the parent’s death, disappearance, or confinement in jail or other place of detention. A petition can also be filed if a court has suspended or terminated the parent’s rights after finding the parent or parents incompetent.
  • A full guardianship may be granted if the parent or parents have permitted the minor to reside with another person and have not provided the other person with the legal authority for the care and maintenance of the minor.
  • A full guardianship may also be granted if the biological parents of the minor were never married to each other and the custodial parent has died or disappeared, and the other parent has not been granted legal custody by a court order. In this situation, the proposed guardian must be related to the minor within the 5th degree by marriage, blood, or adoption.
For more information visit the Full Guardianship of Minors Instructions page.


For a limited guardianship a Petition for Appointment of Limited Guardian can only be completed by the custodial parent(s) of the minor. Both parents with joint custody, or the one parent with sole custody must sign the petition and voluntarily consent to the guardianship and the suspension of his/her parental rights. 

A copy of the child custody/support order and any other modifications made to those orders must be filed with the petition. Additionally, a copy of the minor's birth certificate must be filed with the petition.

For more information visit the Limited Guardianship of Minors Instructions page.