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Ohio Guardianship Law: Guardianship of a Minor


A guardian must be appointed for a minor under the age of 18 if his parents die or are declared unfit, unless the minor is legally emancipated by virtue of an act such as entering the military or getting married. It is helpful to designate a guardian for your minor children in your will, just in case you pass away before they are grown. Please see my Ohio Probate & Wills libguide for resources on writing your will. 

Parents also can appoint a guardian for their children temporarily. This often happens when a parent wants a child to live with another relative for the summer, or for a school year. 

 A guardianship is usually a non-adversarial process, whereas a custody proceeding in domestic relations or juvenile court is often contested. Be aware that when there has been a DIVORCE or a court proceeding in JUVENILE COURT involving a minor for whom a guardian is requested, the Probate Court will presume it does not have jurisdiction to issue the guardianship order. Therefore, you as the applicant, must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the Probate Court does have jurisdiction to issue a guardianship order. 


Ohio Revised Code