Special Guardianship Orders
There may be a situation where it is not possible for a child to live with their parents. Where this is the case, it is possible to make a permanent or long-term arrangement via Special Guardianship Order.
At Tinsdills Solicitors, our family law experts can work alongside you to guide you through the process of making a Special Guardianship Order or advise you on your options if an application has been made in respect of your children.
We understand just how sensitive these types of matters can be, as well as the heavy emotional toll they can take on all parties. We, therefore, approach matters involving Special Guardianship Orders with the care they deserve, while also providing practical advice that keeps the process as straightforward as possible.
Special Guardianship Orders are dealt with by the Family Court. Our solicitors can also provide robust representation during these proceedings to maximise the chances of reaching a positive result.
Please note that we do not deal with Legal Aid enquiries for any Family Law work.
To arrange an initial appointment with one of our special guardianship order solicitors in Hanley, Leek, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, or Sandbach please call 01782 652300 or use the enquiry form on the right hand side of the page.
Our Special Guardianship Order Solicitors
There are a number of reasons why you may need to make an application for a Special Guardianship order. Whatever the reasons and surrounding circumstances, our solicitors can work alongside you to provide an objective assessment of the situation and advise you on the most appropriate course of action.
While Special Guardianship Orders provide certain benefits, they are not as secure as an Adoption Order as they do not sever the legal relationship between a child and their birth parents. It is therefore essential to understand the implications of making an application and whether it will be suitable in both the short and long-term.
If our team deem it appropriate, we can support you in making an application, including completing an assessment to be submitted to your local authority, which is then used to determine whether you will be suitable as a Special Guardian.
Should a Special Guardianship Order have been granted in relation to your child, you may have a right to appeal this decision. Our team can review your case and advise you on the potential pros of appealing an application and representing you in court where required. Appeals must be made within three weeks of the order being put in place.
If a Special Guardianship Order is currently in place, its terms can be altered, or it can be removed altogether. If you wish to discharge or vary a Special Guardianship Order, our solicitors will help you to prepare for a court assessment of your circumstances and the prospect of successfully challenging the Special Guardianship Order.
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Get in Touch With our Special Guardianship Order Solicitors Today
If you would like to discuss making Special Guardianship Order further, please get in touch with a member of our expert team today.
With a dedicated team on hand to take you through every step of the process, you can rest assured that we will provide you with the best chance of achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Special Guardianship Order FAQs
Introduced in the Adoption and Children Act 2002, Special Guardianship Orders are made by the Family Court. They are used to place a child or young person into care with someone other than their birth parents on a long-term basis. The person appointed under an order then becomes the child’s Special Guardian.
Special Guardianship Orders also grant parental responsibility to the Special Guardian, while links with the child’s birth parents are maintained.
There are certain restrictions on what a Special Guardian is able to do. This includes:
- Provide consent to the child being adopted
- Taking the child out of the country for longer than three months
- Changing the child’s surname
- Changing the child’s religion
- Situations that require consent for everyone with parental responsibility, such as sterilisation of the child
To become a Special Guardian, you must be 18 or over and not be a parent of the child.
You can make a Special Guardianship application if:
- You are a local authority foster carer with whom the child has lived with for one year prior to the application
- The child has lived with you for three of the past five years
- You are the guardian of the child
- The child is in local authority care, and the local authority permits you to make an application
- You have a Child Arrangements Order or a Residence Order in respect of the child
- You are a relative of the child, and the child has lived with you for at least one year immediately before an application
- You have permission from the court to make the application
Special Guardianship Orders last until the child is 18 years old.
It is possible for the parents of the child to make an application to the court for a Special Guardianship Order to be discharged, but this is only possible if it can be proven that there has been a significant change of circumstances since the Order was made.
When a Special Guardianship order is put in place, both the Special Guardian and the parents share parental responsibility.
It costs £215 to apply to court to become a Special Guardian. There are also separate legal fees if you are represented throughout proceedings.
Our solicitors’ legal fees can be discussed during an initial consultation. These initial meetings are priced at £75.
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