Procedure—special guardianship applications
Procedure—special guardianship applications

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

  • Procedure—special guardianship applications
  • Non-court dispute resolution—mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs)
  • Notice to the local authority to prepare a report
  • The local authority report
  • Jurisdiction
  • Which court?
  • Application
  • Respondents and persons to whom notice must be given
  • Service
  • Acknowledgment
  • more

This Practice Note is impacted by the exit of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for practitioners, inter alia, when considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—children proceedings. This Practice Note sets out the current position on the procedure for applications for a special guardianship order.

A special guardianship order (SGO) is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian, or special guardians.

An applicant for an SGO must be 18 or over and not the parent of the child in question.

Non-court dispute resolution—mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs)

Attendance at a family mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) is compulsory before issuing an application in relevant family proceedings (such applications include those for special guardianship orders (SGOs)) unless a MIAM exemption or mediator's exemption applies, see Practice Note: Non-court dispute resolution—mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs)—Exemptions. The court may not issue, or otherwise deal with, an application if, in contravention, the applicant has not attended a MIAM. See Practice Note: Non-court dispute resolution—mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs).

The pre-application requirement for MIAMs is set out in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 3 supplemented by FPR 2010, PD 3A.

The requirement to attend a MIAM does not apply when the