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Removing a Guardian

Who can ask that a guardian be removed?

Any person interested in the minor's welfare, or the minor himself or herself if over the age of 14, can file a petition to remove the guardian.

The petitioner signs the petition under oath, swearing that the statements in it are true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge.

Do you have to give reasons?

Yes.  The petition form has places where you give your reasons for removing the guardian.

They are:

  • The biological parents can resume their parental responsibilities
  • The minor has been adopted
  • Other reasons

Who must be given notice of the hearing on the petition?

  • The minor if over 14 years old
  • the guardian
  • the parents of the minor if their parental rights have not been terminated or if they have not sign a voluntary surrender of the child for adoption
  • any other person that the court has ordered be given notice

The court has a Notice of Hearing form


How does the court actually remove a guardian?

The court removes the guardian at a court hearing.

It removes the guardian on a court form called Decree and Order of Termination of Guardianship on a Petition for Removal

On the Decree and Order, the court can say, among other things:

  • that the parent or parents can resume parental responsibility
  • that the minor was adopted
  • that someone else is being appointed to be guardian
  • that the guardian is being investigated or has charges pending for assault and battery and/or neglect of a minor
  • that the guardian is not acting in the best interests of the minor

Produced by Jeff Wolf (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) with help from Veronica Serrato (Volunteer Lawyers Project)
Last updated July, 2011

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