Why would I have to go to probate court to reconnect with my child or grandchild?

People go to probate court seeking to become a child’s legal guardian and must file a “petition” (a legal request) to do so.

In reentry, you might become involved in a probate case to:

    Become a guardian (non-parents only);
    End a guardianship set up while you were incarcerated or away for other reasons (parents only, who are looking to get their parental rights back); OR
    Support someone else becoming a guardian for your child (parents only).

To become a guardian, you have to open a case in probate court. But to end a guardianship or support someone else becoming your child’s guardian, you will have to JOIN his or her open probate court case.

A Special Note for Grandparents: This information is very important for grandparents because probate court will be the court you will want to file a “petition” if there is no ongoing case involving your grandchild and you want to become his or her guardian. Remember! Grandparents’ don’t have automatic rights to care for a grandchild (learn more about your rights on PG. 727.