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Temporary Guardianship Agreement Form: How Does it Work?

Michael Tierney
February 5, 2023

Children require constant supervision and care to develop properly and receive the guidance they need. Ordinarily, the children's parents provide this supervision and care since they are responsible for bringing that child into the world. While some people might not think that anyone other than their parents could provide the care and guidance developing children require.

Unfortunately, there are several scenarios where a child's parents are unable or unwilling to provide the guidance their children need. These different scenarios can prevent a child from interacting with their parents and receiving the care they need. While this is a more common issue than we might like, it does not mean children run around society without supervision. When parents cannot care for their children, there are guardians capable of stepping up to the plate and tending to the children's needs.

A guardian oversees the children's needs the same way their parents ordinarily would, but guardianship is not as simple as stepping into the child's life. A guardian must be selected and legally empowered to care for the child in the parent's absence. While most guardians assume full-time custody and care because the parents cannot return to the child's life, there are other forms.

Sometimes, the child needs a guardian to care for them while their parents are temporarily indisposed.

Solution For a temporary guardian to be assigned, the applicant must fill out a temporary guardianship form. How this form works and the process required to fill it is not common knowledge, and we put together this guide to assist you on your journey.

Let's begin!

What is a Temporary Guardianship Agreement Form?

Thousands of legal forms are required to fill out to accomplish certain goals and procedures. The different forms relate to cases and legal situations ranging from name changes to filing a lawsuit. One of the lesser-known legal forms is the temporary guardianship agreement form. These forms are specialized tools to award guardianship in niche situations where the person who needs a guardian does not need a long-term guardian.

Solution Generally, guardianship is reserved for children whose parents are temporarily unable tend to their children's needs.

A temporary guardianship agreement has certain requirements to meet before you can file one successfully.

Temporary guardianships are usually issued when the subject needs care for a set period. While guardianship arrangements exist for adults and minors, one of the more interesting reasons to file a temporary guardianship form is during divorce proceedings. Divorce can be extremely complicated, and the most tenuous negotiations are those about child custody. Sometimes, divorce becomes difficult enough to mandate putting the child in someone else's care until the negotiations are complete.

Filling Out a Temporary Guardianship Agreement Form

Essentially, a temporary guardianship agreement form is a document that must be filed when you need someone else to care for your child for a set time. The document has a default expiration date and cannot be extended, but the timeframe is usually sufficient for your needs. Temporary guardianship forms are not difficult to acquire and are readily available from your local courthouse or the corresponding website. Unfortunately, other complications might impact your ability to take advantage of temporary guardianships.

While placing your child in someone else's custody might not be ideal, there are situations where it is best for their well-being. Additionally, the judge might order temporary guardianship when negotiations are drawn out or hostile. However, the latter is less common than the former, which is already fairly rare. Despite the rarity of temporary guardianship in divorce, it is a concern that we must consider when facing the prospect of a hostile divorce. Unfortunately, figuring out how to file a temporary guardianship agreement might be difficult for some people.

How to File a Temporary Guardianship Agreement

Filing legal paperwork can be difficult since many requirements and restrictions can confuse the process. While the confusing nature of legal paperwork can be discouraging, filing the paperwork can be simplified by employing the services of an attorney. Nevertheless, the instructions are not always clear for those who prefer to file their paperwork personally since most forms have regulations that vary by state.

Despite these variances, filing a temporary guardianship agreement is not overly different from filing any legal paperwork. You must fill out the information, sign the form, and submit the form to the proper channels for execution.

Overcoming the different laws enforced by state ordinances is easier with assistance. Still, the best way to independently determine the state laws for your guardianship agreement is to check with your local courthouse. Nevertheless, certain concepts might be more common between states since some universal information is required to assign a guardian.

Filing a Temporary Guardianship Agreement

For simplicity's sake, we will outline the required details for filing a form in Nevada:

  1. The guardianship can only last 6 months or less.
  2. The child's parents must sign and notarize the agreement. Only one parent must sign if the other parent is deceased, unknown, or has no parental rights.
  3. If the child is 14 or older, they must sign the agreement.
  4. The appointed guardian must sign the agreement.

Per Nevada law, the above criteria must be met for the document to be filed successfully and will not be considered until they are. Once the criteria are met, and the form is filled out, the parents can submit it to the courthouse for a judge to evaluate. Once it reaches the judge and is approved, the temporary guardianship takes effect and will automatically expire after 6 months.

A Nevada temporary guardianship agreement can expire earlier if a date is specified beforehand but will default to the 6-month timeframe otherwise. Conversely, the agreement cannot be extended and will never last beyond 6 months. If you need to extend the guardianship, you can only file another temporary guardianship agreement with the court. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee the second request will succeed.

Because each state has its own civil laws, some details might vary depending on what those laws are. For example, guardianship in a state other than Nevada might be more or less than the 6 months authorized by Nevada law. Other restrictions and permissions vary by state, and you will need the information about your state. Otherwise, filing a temporary guardianship agreement by another state's requirements will automatically destroy your chances of success. Even the document you must fill out differs depending on the state and country where you plan to file.

What Role Does Guardianship Play in Divorce?

You might think that appointing a guardian for your child is unnecessary during divorce since you are still involved in your child's life. Unfortunately, divorce can be time-consuming and evoke unpleasant emotions and interactions between you and your spouse. While this does not mean you will be at your spouse's throat, the emotional strain involved can make the process damaging to your child's mental and emotional health.

Additionally, particularly aggressive custody negotiations might cause one parent to employ underhanded tactics and kidnap their child to keep them away from you. While the latter might sound like a scene from a television drama series, it is a slight possibility that you must consider if the dynamic between you and your spouse is extremely hostile.

As painful as it sounds, leaving your child in an impartial guardian's hands might be better to ensure there are no risks of being manipulated. There is a deeply ingrained issue of parents trying to turn their children against their spouse during a divorce. By weaponizing their child, they hope the child's desire to stay with the other parent will sway the negotiations in their favor. While this tactic is dramatized in modern media, it is an issue in some relationships, especially if your spouse has a history of manipulative behavior.

While you might think keeping your child with you is the best way to avoid this, your spouse might project their intentions onto you and imply that you are trying to manipulate your child against them.

While this is not necessarily a risk you will face if your relationship with your spouse is amicable and you both genuinely want the best for your children, you might need to consider this potential outcome. Namely, requesting a guardian take custody of your child temporarily will ensure there is no agenda and that your child is taken care of until the divorce ends.

Divorce Affecting a Child

Unfortunately, divorce is a complicated civil process, and appointing a guardian, even temporarily, during something that complicated is not going to be simple. The added complication is that a guardian is not strictly necessary during divorce and will likely not be authorized since the parents are expected to remain civil.

Unless you demonstrate that you and your spouse cannot remain impartial insofar as your child is concerned, a judge is unlikely to approve a temporary guardianship. If a judge does observe this behavior, they might be reluctant to award custody to either of you once the divorce is finalized, but that is a completely different concern. Nevertheless, applying for guardianship before the divorce proceedings can help keep your child out of the middle of the conflict.

If during the custody negotiations, the judge deems you and your spouse incapable of operating in the child's best interests, they will likely place the child in non-parental custody. The biggest difference is that a judge will make guardianship permanent in some states if that behavior does not improve over time.

Additionally, a guardian can provide necessary protection and guidance for children who are expected to appear in official settings. Sometimes, a child is expected to speak during the divorce negotiations to decide which parent they want to live with full-time. This privilege is only available to children 16 or older since they have developed enough to make an informed decision about their parents.

However, since they are still minors, they can only make statements to the court with the protection of a guardian ad litem. Ordinarily, these short-term guardians are assigned by a judge and are not responsible for the teenager's long-term care. They exist to protect the child's best interests while they are in court.

Guardian Ad Litem

The complicated part is that temporary guardians are primarily present to handle medical and educational needs when the parents are indisposed. Assigning one during divorce can be extremely complicated because a temporary guardian's role is extremely niche. Generally, a guardian is not assigned during divorce proceedings, temporary or otherwise, unless done before the proceedings begin. Even then, the judge might overturn the agreement to return the child to the parents' custody to maintain the integrity of the negotiations.

Learn the Law

Divorce proceedings are emotionally and mentally taxing enough without worrying about our children's well-being. While filing a temporary guardianship agreement might seem like an effective way to keep our children safe while the divorce is processed, it is not necessarily viable. Guardianship is designed to provide care for children whose parents cannot care for them for a brief period.

A guardian is only appointed during divorce when extenuating circumstances make keeping the child with the parents unsafe. A judge will always act in a child's best interests and view keeping them with their parents fulfilling that criterion. Therefore, it is not wise to walk into divorce proceedings with the expectation that you can have a guardian appointed until the process is over.

Child Custody Law

If you have concerns about your child's well-being during your divorce, opting for a guardian should be a last resort. Your best bet is to prepare yourself for the possible scenarios that might arise during the proceedings. The better prepared you are for divorce, the less likely it will reverberate back to your children and severely affect their mental or emotional health. This is especially important since there are situations where a child is put at the center of the divorce proceedings, and they become the main topic of conversation.

While your child will likely be absent during these negotiations, it can still impact their mental health if you are not prepared for the conflict. We realize this is likely a difficult time for you and your child, and we hope this article provides some clarity. If you have any questions about anything we mentioned, be sure to leave us a comment down below. We'd be more than happy to help you out however we can.

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Written By:
Michael Tierney

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