Special Guardianship Orders

We are leading family lawyers in Exeter. We can provide advice if you are considering making an application for a special guardianship order (SGO), or if someone else has made an SGO application in relation to your child. You may be eligible for legal aid for special guardianship order applications, depending on your financial position.

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

SGOs are long-term orders securing a child’s placement with, usually, a relative or family friend. Unlike adoption this order does not end the child’s legal relationship with their parents, but it does enable the special guardian to exercise parental responsibility to the exclusion of the child’s parents except in very limited circumstances. This means that special guardians can nearly always override the birth parents’ wishes.

Application Process

Those being considered as special guardians for a child will have to undergo a comprehensive assessment. It will include the gathering of information from them about their background and life now, the obtaining of a medical report, DBS checks, and references from friends, neighbours, or professionals who have known them for a long time. Sometimes, where the local authority is supporting a special guardianship application, it will fund limited legal advice for the prospective special guardians so that they are clear about what they are putting themselves forward for.

A named lawyer will deal with your case from start to finish. You will be given clear and focused advice throughout, and we will keep you fully informed about each stage and any outcomes. We will also advise you about legal aid for SGO applications.

To make an enquiry or book an appointment, please contact Mark Fairchild, Family Team Administrator.

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