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Special Guardianship Order

A Special Guardianship Order (“SGO”) is an enhanced “live with” Child Arrangements Order. This order will provide that a child (maybe your grandchild or a foster child) should live with you, that you will have parental responsibility for them and that your parental responsibility trumps the parents’ parental responsibility. So, you are much more in the driving seat in terms of making decisions. This is intended to be a permanent order, so is most useful where a parent is unable to care on a long term basis for example, because of serious physical or mental incapacity or a substance misuse problem.

How do I apply for a Special Guardianship Order?

You need to give notice to the Local Authority for the area where you live of your intention to apply for an SGO. You might need permission from the court to make an application for an SGO. If you need permission, you must obtain it before you notify the Local Authority. The Local Authority has a duty to prepare a report confirming whether it supports you becoming a Special Guardian for the child. It must also prepare a Support Plan setting out any financial support or other services that will be offered to help you care for the child. You can make the application for the SGO three months after you give notice.


Can I oppose the making of a Special Guardianship Order?

Yes, if you are a birth parent, somebody else with parental responsibility or somebody that the court has given permission to oppose the application.


If a Special Guardianship Order is made, will a family member still be able to see the child?

Birth parents might still be able to see the child under an SGO and the Court can make an order that they do. However, it is more likely that the Special Guardian will be left to make decisions in the best interests of the child (including about contact) exercising their enhanced parental responsibility.


How can The Modern Family Law Company help?

We are specialists in the field of family law relating to children and we can advise you as to how Special Guardianship applies to your situation. Whether you wish to make or oppose a Special Guardianship application, we will guide you through the process and represent your interests in the proceedings to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family.


How will we support you through the process?

Any family court proceedings are stressful and can be distressing. We have many years’ experience of supporting clients through the process. Whatever your situation, we will be there to support you through all the ups and downs of the proceedings. We can refer you to one of our trusted partners e.g. a counsellor or psychotherapist,  if more formal support services are needed.


How do I find out more about Special Guardianship?

Please Get in Touch via our contact page and we'll be delighted to provide further information.

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