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How do I ask for a lawyer in a Petition for Removal of Guardian of Minor or General Petition to modify?

Produced by Attorney Jeff Wolf for MassLegalHelp with consultation from Attorney Laura Gal, Community Legal Aid
Created September 2016
  1. You have to show your case has "merit" on the petition you use, either for Removal or the General Petition, and
  2. You have to file an Application for Appointment of Counsel For Parent of Minor Child Guardianship of Minor

1. Show "merit’ on your petition

On the petition you show "merit" by giving good reasons for the judge to look at your case. You do not have to convince the judge to decide in your favor on the petition. You only need to show there are good reasons to look at your case.

If you made positive changes since the guardianship started, put them in your petition. For example,

  • You completed drug addiction treatment.
  • You have housing.
  • You have income.
  • You completed a parenting class.
  • You have a restraining order against your abuser.
  • You cooperated with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
  • You are getting therapy to help you deal with problems you had when the guardianship started.

2. File The Application for Appointment of Counsel For Parent of Minor Child Guardianship of Minor

File the form  "Application for Appointment of Counsel For Parent of Minor Child Guardianship of Minor " to ask the court to appoint a lawyer.

This form tells the court you cannot afford a lawyer so you need the court to appoint a lawyer for you. Then the state will pay the lawyer.

Even if the state pays the lawyer, the court asks you to pay a $150.00 "counsel fee assessment". If you cannot afford the $150, check the box on the form to ask the court to "waive" the $150 counsel assessment fee.  "Waiving" the fee means they will not make you pay it.

When you file the application, the court will ask you to sign a consent form that allows them to check your income.

See our samples:

PDF icon Sample Petition for Removal of Guardian of Minor 

PDF iconSample General Probate Petition

Get blank forms you can use:

PDF icon APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL For Parent of Minor Child Guardianship of Minor

PDF icon Petition for Removal of Guardian of Minor

PDF icon General Probate Petition

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