As guardian, you must immediately notify the court of any change in address (Form JN-1552). Some counties also require that you complete an Annual Report on the Condition of the Child (Form JN-1550). The report shall include the location of the child, the health condition of the child and any recommendations regarding the child. Check with your county clerk’s office to see if an Annual Report is required.
It’s important that the child knows the parent. Factors to consider what’s “reasonable,” include safety, distance, age of child, parent’s consistency with visits, and whether the parent knows how to handle special needs of a child. You should balance these factors when setting up visits. It is okay to set boundaries related to safety such as requiring the visit be supervised or occur in a public place if you have safety concerns.
The Judge can order a specific visitation schedule. If there is a visitation schedule outlined in the order and circumstances have changed so that you are uncomfortable with the visitation ordered, you can file a petition to modify the guardianship (Form JN-1540) requesting that the visitation order is changed.
As the guardian, it’s important to make sure visits happen in a safe manner. You may require the visits be supervised or follow other guidelines to ensure your grandson’s safety.
Inconsistency is frustrating but is not a reason to deny visitation. You still need to offer visits, but you can provide structure by working out a regular schedule with the parent and set a maximum amount of time you’ll wait. You don’t need to provide spontaneous visits on short notice.
The parent can file a Petition for Review of Conduct of Guardian (Form JN-1560). You may be removed as guardian if you:
The person petitioning the court to review your conduct has the burden of proof to show these allegations. If the dispute revolves around visitation, it must be shown that your decision regarding visitation is not in the child’s best interest. The court may do any of the following:
You may file a Request to Modify, Extend Limited/Temporary, Reconsider/Modify Emergency, or Terminate Guardianship (Form JN-1540). In order for the court to grant a petition to modify or extend the guardianship, you must show a substantial change in circumstances and that the extension or modification is in the child’s best interest.
You can file a resignation with the court (Form JN-1570). However, the court may not accept the resignation if there is not a proposed successor guardian and the child still needs a guardian. Best practice is to identify a successor guardian before you file a resignation.
A successor guardian may be appointed at the time of the original appointment or any time thereafter, including when a guardian has died, resigned (with court approval) or been removed. If a successor guardian was not appointed at the time the guardianship was initially put in place, a Petition for Appointment of Successor Guardian can be filed (Form JN-1580). The successor guardian would assume responsibilities upon your death, unwillingness or inability to act, resignation or removal.
The guardianship ends when any of the following occur:
The parent or child 12 years of age and over can petition to end the guardianship. The parent or child 12 year and over has the burden of proof and must show:
Last updated: May 2021. The information provided on this website is general information about Wisconsin law and/or procedure, and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Every situation is unique. General information is not a substitute for legal counsel. Individuals needing legal advice or legal assistance should consult an attorney.
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