There are different forms of guardianship under English law, namely:
- Special guardianship
- Guardianship appointment by Will
- Guardianship by court appointment
A special guardian acquires day to day care of a child and parental responsibility (but not legal parenthood). A special guardian's parental responsibility supersedes (but does not extinguish) everyone else's parental responsibility for the child (e.g. birth parent).
A special guardianship order provides a secure legal relationship between the child and the special guardian, whilst maintaining the child's legal connection with his/her legal parents. It can help in situations where, for example, a birth mother cannot care for a child and a grandparent steps in to keep the child within the extended family.
Guardianship appointment by Will
You should appoint legal guardians in your Will to care for your child if you die. A guardianship appointment gives legal care of the child to the guardian as well as conferring parental responsibility upon the guardian.
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- Preparation of Wills appointing legal guardians for a child
- An application to court for special guardianship
- Management of a dispute about guardianship of a child
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