Minor guardianship is for custody of children under age 18 who are not yours. It replaces the former process of non-parent custody.
There are two main tracks in Minor Guardianship: an Emergency Minor Guardianship Case or a Minor Guardianship case. Many people may need to file both to obtain the relief they need.
An Emergency Minor Guardianship case can be filed at the same time as a Minor Guardianship case, or it can be filed first and then followed by a Minor Guardianship case. An Emergency Minor Guardianship case may be used if short-term court orders are needed for the child or a court order is needed right away. The court may use an Emergency Minor Guardianship Order to place the children with a guardian while the Minor Guardianship case moves forward.
Forms and instructions
Steps and forms to file both Emergency Minor Guardianship and Minor Guardianship:
- Instruction sheet with steps and forms reviewed by a Clark County judge
Forms to file a minor guardianship case:
- List of official court forms from the State Court
Instructions and forms to file a minor guardianship case:
- File a Minor Guardianship Petition from Washington LawHelp
- Add forms to Ask for an Emergency Minor Guardianship Order at the same time you file for Minor Guardianship
Instructions and forms to respond to a minor guardianship case:
- Asking for a lawyer from Washington LawHelp
- Information about requesting an attorney from the Clark County Clerk
- Filing to end a guardianship or non-parent custody to get your children back from Washington LawHelp
Washington LawHelp has additional information about minor guardianship cases that might be helpful.
Information about the change from non-parent custody to minor guardianship:
- An overview of the change from Washington LawHelp
- FAQs on the new law from Washington State Courts
- Information about the changes to the law from the Clark County Clerk
If you are raising a child of another family member or a family friend, (i.e., providing 'kinship care'), some support and services are available from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. If you are a kinship caregiver taking care of a relative's child, Washington LawHelp has information about how to get health care for that child.