How to Get Guardianship of a Child Without Going to Court TN

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

When circumstances arise that require someone to assume guardianship of a child, the traditional route often leads to a court proceeding. However, in certain cases, it is possible to obtain guardianship without going through the court system in Tennessee. This article aims to outline the steps involved in obtaining guardianship outside of court, while also addressing frequently asked questions on the subject.

I. Understanding Guardianship:
Guardianship refers to the legal authority granted to an individual to make decisions on behalf of a child, including their healthcare, education, and general welfare. This responsibility is typically granted to parents; however, in certain situations, guardianship may need to be transferred to another person.

II. Obtaining Guardianship without Court Involvement:
In Tennessee, the following guidelines should be followed to obtain guardianship without going through court proceedings:

1. Written Agreement: The current legal guardian and the proposed guardian must establish a written agreement outlining the transfer of guardianship. This agreement should include details such as the child’s name, birthdate, and the reason for the proposed change.

2. Consent from Parents: Both parents, if living, must consent to the guardianship transfer. If one parent is deceased or cannot be located, documentation supporting this should be provided. In some cases, consent from the parent may be unnecessary if they have previously relinquished their parental rights.

3. Notarization: The written agreement should be notarized to ensure its legality. This can be done at a notary public’s office, usually for a nominal fee.

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4. Local Resources: Contact the local Department of Children’s Services (DCS) or Child and Family Services for guidance on the specific requirements and forms needed for obtaining guardianship without court involvement.

5. Social Services Assessment: Social services may conduct an assessment to ensure the proposed guardian is qualified to assume the responsibilities required for the child’s welfare. This assessment may involve interviews, home visits, and background checks.

6. Legal Representation: Although not required, it is advisable for both parties involved to consult with an attorney experienced in family law to ensure all legal aspects are properly addressed.


Q1: Can anyone be a guardian without going to court?
A: No, guardianship without court involvement is typically limited to specific situations, such as when both parents consent and no objections arise.

Q2: What happens if one parent objects to the guardianship transfer?
A: If one parent objects to the transfer, court involvement may become necessary. It is recommended to consult with an attorney to navigate this situation.

Q3: What documentation is required for the notarization process?
A: Typically, both parties involved will need to present valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, to have the agreement notarized.

Q4: Can guardianship without court involvement be challenged in the future?
A: While it is generally more difficult to challenge a guardianship without court involvement, there is still a possibility. To minimize the risk, it is crucial to consult with an attorney and ensure all necessary steps are followed.

Q5: Is obtaining guardianship without court involvement permanent?
A: Guardianship obtained without court involvement may be temporary or permanent, depending on the specific circumstances. It is important to clearly outline the duration in the written agreement.

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While obtaining guardianship without court involvement is possible in Tennessee under specific circumstances, it is essential to follow the outlined steps carefully. Consulting with an experienced attorney and seeking guidance from local resources will ensure a smoother process. Remember, each situation may differ, so it is advisable to seek legal advice tailored to your specific case.