Specialist Legal Advice for Child Arrangements and Family Members
Often, when parents separate, it is not just the parents who wish to ensure that their relationships with the children remain in place. Unfortunately, extended family members including grandparents do not have automatic rights in relation to children.
Applications can be made to the Court for Child Arrangements, although there is an additional step required, in that permission from the Court must be sought first, before the application can proceed. If you require any support with this, Hepburn Delaney’s Children Law Solicitors can assist you through the process.
Who can apply for a child arrangements order?
Certain categories of people are entitled to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order without having to seek permission from the Court first, and they are:
- A parent, guardian or special guardian of a child;
- Any person who has Parental Responsibility;
- Anyone who holds a Child Arrangements Order;
- Any party to a marriage or civil partnership where the child is a child of the family;
- Anyone with whom the child has lived for at least three years out of the last five years including the last three months;
- Anyone who has the consent of those with Parental Responsibility.
Other people can make an application to the Court for permission to make an application.
In deciding whether to give permission the Court must consider all the circumstances in particular what orders are being sought and what the connection is between the file. The Court will of course also take into account the wishes of the parents and if appropriate the Local Authority.
In some circumstances, a Special Guardianship Order may be sought. For example, if you are looking after a child who is not yours, or your child is being looked after by a third party i.e a family member or a foster carer, an application can be made to the Court for a Special Guardianship Order (SGO).
SGOs are made when the Court considers that a child cannot be cared for by their parents and are to remain with the Special Guardians for the remainder of their childhood. Once made, the SGO gives Parental Responsibility (PR) to the Special Guardians, allowing day to day decisions for the child to be made. Unlike Adoption, an SGO does not remove PR from parents but does allow the Special Guardians to make welfare decisions for the child, even if at times this may conflict with the wishes of the parents.
An application for an SGO can be made directly to the Court by private individuals or can be made alongside Care and Supervision proceedings.
Get in touch with our team of childcare solicitors today
If you are considering making an application for Child Arrangements as a family member or for Special Guardianship, we can provide you with expert advice on the application and how to fund your legal advice. Alternatively you may be a parent for whose child an application has been made. Our specialist team can help and advise you through the process.
Call us on 01442 218090
Send an email to email@example.com
Fill out our enquiry form and speak to one of our Specialist Children Law Solicitors today.
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