Types of Guardianship in Wisconsin

The four types of guardianship in Wisconsin are emergency guardianship, temporary guardianship, limited guardianship, and full guardianship. When the court gives the order appointing a guardian, the guardian has custody and placement of the child. What type of guardianship the court grants depends on how long the child needs a guardian.

There are different types of guardianship that you can get depending on how long the kids need a guardian for. The shortest form of guardianship is emergency guardianship, and the longest form is full guardianship.

Types of Minor Guardianship

The Wisconsin courts determine who gets guardianship by looking at what is in the child’s best interest. To get any type of guardianship, you have to convince the courts that it is in the child’s best interest for you to be their guardian.

To determine which type of guardianship the child in your case needs or to get help with any part of your case, call Sterling Lawyers.

1. Emergency guardianship

Emergency guardianship is used when there is an immediate, short-term need for the child to be away from their parents. It is short-term because it lasts for 60 days. The guardian’s authority over the child only extends to things related to the reason for the appointment.[1] This form of guardianship is often used for things like medical emergencies.

2. Temporary guardianship

Temporary guardianship lasts for 180 days, and it can be extended for an extra 180 days. To get this type of guardianship, it has to be proven that the child’s parents cannot care for them. Temporary guardianship is best used when there is a foreseeable endpoint to the issue causing the need for a guardian. It can turn into a longer form of guardianship if it needs to.[2]

3. Limited guardianship

The court must set a time-limit on this form of guardianship and it usually only lasts six months or less. The limited guardian does not have all custodial responsibilities but may provide some guidance and support to the parents as they work towards regaining their ability to care for their child. The key to limited guardianship is that the parents retain some influence over major decisions in the child’s life.[3]

4. Full Guardianship

To get full guardianship, the person asking for it must prove the parents are unfit, unable, or unwilling to care for the child. Full guardianship continues until the child turns 18 or the court orders it to end. In full guardianship, the guardian is fully responsible for the child in the same way a parent is.[4]

For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (262) 221-8123 now!


What Is the Best Type of Guardianship?

The best type of guardianship is the one that best fits the needs of the child. For example, if the child only needs a guardian immediately, emergency guardianship is likely the best option. Or, if the child needs a guardian for a few months, then temporary guardianship would be the best

What if You Need Guardianship for Longer?

If you need temporary guardianship to be longer, it can be extended an extra 180 days. If the child’s parents are still not ready to take on the responsibility of parenting, then it may be time to pursue full guardianship.

For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (262) 221-8123 now!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does guardianship work in Wisconsin?

For a child to need a guardian, their parents must be unfit, unwilling, or unable to care for the child. If this is the case, then someone who wants to be the child’s guardian can file the necessary paperwork and begin the process.

How do I file for emergency custody in Wisconsin?

To file for emergency custody, you file mostly the same paperwork as any other type of guardianship, except the petition is JN-1504 rather than JN-1501. Both of these documents can be downloaded on our Wisconsin Guardianship Forms page.

What are the different types of guardians?

There are custodial guardians, financial guardians, and conservators. For children who are under 18, their guardian is a custodial guardian.

What is the difference between a natural and a legal guardian?

A natural guardian is another word some people use to refer to parents who have a biological relation to the child. A legal guardian then is someone who has their relationship with the child established legally rather than biologically.

What is limited guardianship in Wisconsin?

Limited guardianship is where there is a non-parent who is the guardian of a child, but the parent or parents still have some custody and placement with the child. This could mean that the parent is able to make some decisions for the child, but the guardian has to take care of other things.

References: 1. WI Statute, § 48.9795 (6). Other Guardianships and Delegation of Power by Parent. | 2. WI Statute, § 48.9795 (5). | 3. WI Statute, § 48.9795 (2)(d)2. | 4. WI Statute, § 48.9795 (2)(d)1.

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