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Guardianship of a child

A person with parental responsibility for a child can appoint one or more guardians in their Will to care for a minor child in the event of their death.

The appointment of a guardian for a child can be particularly important:

  • For a single parent with sole parental responsibility for a child.
  • For co-parents with parental responsibility for a child following assisted conception.
  • For intended parents in a surrogacy context.
  • For separated or divorced parents with parental responsibility for a child.
  • In cases where a parent is unable to exercise parental responsibility for a child (e.g. sickness, injury, disability).

If more than one person has parental responsibility, they can each appoint a guardian/s of their own choice. However, a guardianship appointment will only take effect on the death of all people with parental responsibility for the child in question. The guardian/s will then acquire parental responsibility for the child so they can make decisions to ensure the child’s upbringing and welfare, including place of residence, educational choices and financial matters. Any legally operative appointed guardians must act jointly in the exercise of parental responsibility for the child. If they cannot agree, the court will decide.

The court can appoint one or more guardians if there is no surviving person with parental responsibility for a child. In the event of a dispute about guardianship, the court will determine matters in the best interests of the child.

Our specialist legal expertise helps place family life for modern families and those formed through assisted reproduction on a firm legal basis. We deliver cutting-edge and innovative legal solutions in the short, medium and longer term.

Bespoke Legal Services

We provide expert tailored legal advice and representation in relation to a guardianship order for a child and other orders in the English Family Court including:

 

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