How to Get Guardianship of a Child Without Going to Court in Colorado

Title: How to Get Guardianship of a Child Without Going to Court in Colorado


Obtaining guardianship of a child is a significant responsibility, ensuring the child’s well-being and providing them with stability and protection. While the traditional route involves going through the court system, Colorado offers an alternative process known as “Kinship Guardianship.” This approach allows caregivers to obtain legal guardianship without the need for court intervention. In this article, we will explore the steps involved in securing guardianship without going to court in Colorado.

Understanding Kinship Guardianship:

Kinship Guardianship is a legal arrangement where a caregiver assumes responsibility for a child’s well-being, without requiring court involvement. This process aims to expedite the guardianship process, offering a simpler and less expensive alternative for families seeking to provide stable environments for children in their care.

Steps to Obtain Guardianship without Court Intervention:

1. Understanding eligibility: To qualify for Kinship Guardianship, certain criteria must be met. The child must have lived with the caregiver for at least six consecutive months, and the caregiver must be a relative or a significant individual in the child’s life, such as a close family friend or godparent.

2. Completing the Kinship Guardianship Affidavit: This document serves as a legal agreement between the caregiver and the child’s parents or legal guardians, transferring certain rights and responsibilities to the caregiver. The affidavit must be signed by all parties involved, including the caregiver, parents, and any other individuals with legal rights to the child.

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3. Filing the Kinship Guardianship Affidavit: After completing the affidavit, it must be filed with the county’s Clerk and Recorder’s office where the child resides. A fee may be required during the filing process.

4. Notifying interested parties: The caregiver must provide written notice to all parties with legal rights to the child, such as parents, legal guardians, and grandparents. This step ensures that all interested parties are aware of the change in the child’s guardianship.

5. Completing required background checks: As part of the Kinship Guardianship process, all adult household members must undergo background checks. These checks help ensure the child’s safety and well-being.

6. Attending a Kinship Guardianship Orientation: Once the paperwork is filed, the caregiver must attend a Kinship Guardianship Orientation where they will receive information regarding their rights, responsibilities, and available resources.

7. Obtaining the Kinship Guardianship Order: After completing the above steps, the Kinship Guardianship Order will be issued, granting the caregiver the legal authority to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and general well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Is Kinship Guardianship permanent?
No, Kinship Guardianship is not permanent. It can be terminated if the child’s parents regain their ability to care for the child or if the court determines it is in the child’s best interest to end the guardianship.

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2. Can I apply for Kinship Guardianship if I am not related to the child?
Yes, Colorado allows non-relatives who have a significant relationship with the child, such as close family friends or godparents, to apply for Kinship Guardianship.

3. Can Kinship Guardianship be established for multiple children?
Yes, Kinship Guardianship can be established for multiple children if they meet the eligibility criteria. Each child will require a separate Kinship Guardianship Affidavit.

4. Can the child’s parents object to the Kinship Guardianship?
Yes, parents or legal guardians have the right to object to the Kinship Guardianship. If they do, the case may proceed to court for further evaluation.

5. Are there any financial benefits available to Kinship Guardians?
Yes, Kinship Guardians may be eligible for financial assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and child care assistance. Contact your local Department of Human Services for more information.

6. Can I apply for Kinship Guardianship if the child is in foster care?
Yes, Kinship Guardianship can be pursued even if the child is currently in foster care. However, additional steps may be involved, and it is advisable to consult with an attorney or your local Department of Human Services.

7. Can I modify the Kinship Guardianship Order?
Yes, the Kinship Guardianship Order can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances or if it is in the child’s best interest. Consult an attorney for guidance on how to proceed.

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Obtaining guardianship of a child without going to court in Colorado is possible through the Kinship Guardianship process. By adhering to the outlined steps, caregivers can provide a stable and loving environment for children in their care. Remember to consult with an attorney or seek guidance from the local Department of Human Services to ensure a smooth transition and to understand the legal implications of Kinship Guardianship.