Applicants for a special guardianship order
Applicants for a special guardianship order

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applicants for a special guardianship order
  • Circumstances in which a special guardianship order may be made
  • Entitled applicants
  • Applicants who require the court's permission to apply
  • The permission criteria
  • Procedure

Circumstances in which a special guardianship order may be made

The court may make a special guardianship order (SGO):

  1. as the result of a free-standing application by an individual who is entitled as of right to apply, or, an individual who has obtained leave of the court to apply

  2. in any family proceedings in which a question arises with respect to the welfare of the child if an application has been made by an applicant who is entitled to apply or one who has obtained leave

  3. in any family proceedings of its own motion if it considers that an SGO should be made even though no such application has been made—note however Re H (A Child) (Analysis of Realistic Options and SGOs) and P-S (Children) where it was said that the residual power to make an SGO of the Court’s own motion should not be the normal or default process

An application may be a joint application, made by more than one individual. There is no requirement that the joint applicants must be married.

Entitled applicants

A special guardian must be aged 18 or over and not the parent of the child in question.

Certain applicants are entitled to apply for an SGO without obtaining permission from the court:

  1. any guardian of the child

  2. anyone who is named in a