Grandparents – Special Guardianship Order
Family structures these days are diverse, varied and constantly changing. Parents may be married, living together, or separated. Children can have siblings, half siblings, step siblings or adopted brothers and sisters. In complex domestic situations like this it often falls to members of the extended family to take an important role in looking after children, with grandparents most often called upon to fill the parenting gap.
Increasing numbers of grandparents are taking an active role in bringing up their grandchildren, filling a gap left by parents who are unable to do the job themselves. This may be due to social problems such as drink, drug or mental health issues. The natural parents may have sought help from within their own family, recognising that they cannot adequately fulfil the role of parent, or social services may have intervened on the child’s behalf. In other circumstances, the ill health , life choices or even premature death of the parents may cause grandparents to become involved.
Whatever the reasons for their involvement, grandparents needing to take on the role of carers for their grandchildren are advised to seek legal advice. Bretherton Law’s expert solicitors can help you apply for a legal order to formalise the arrangements between you and your grandchild. A legal order can confirm that the child is to live permanently with you, and give you the right to be involved in making decisions about their care and upbringing. The orders will usually be in the form of a Special Guardianship Order, or Child Arrangements Order (formerly known as a Residence Order), and they may additionally help you to secure financial and other assistance in bringing up your grandchildren.
At Bretherton Law we have been helping families with changes in their circumstances for over 50 years, and have built an enviable reputation for our professional service and honest advice. We are proud to be accredited by the Law Society in Family and Children Law, as well as our membership of Resolution, the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field.
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