My son is 14 years old. Sadly, his dad passed away five years ago. I now have a new partner that lives with us, and my son and my partner get on really well.
My partner and I have discussed some kind of legal guardianship, in case of my passing while my son is still a child. Is there such a thing ?
(Miss D.M, 2 December 2008)
Legal guardianship, where a child loses both parents, is a subject which should be considered by all parents. Naturally, it is a very difficult topic and one that many parents would probably prefer not to address. But because your son has already experienced the tragedy of the death of his father, this is a subject that you have already thought about. The fact that you have found a new partner who gets on well with your son is good news, and he may seem like the obvious person to consider for this very important role.
You must think about exactly what being a Legal Guardian would involve. The most important factors are stability for your son should the unthinkable happen, and choosing a person that you trust and who is prepared to take on all the long-term emotional and financial responsibilities for your child.
Before choosing a person to be a legal guardian you must be as sure as you can be that they are the right person and will be there for the child. You describe your partner as being “new”. It sounds as if he is happy to take on this responsibility but do make sure that he is the right person. There may be other people who could also act as legal guardian, such as grandparents, any brothers or sisters you may have or close, long-term friends.
To appoint a legal guardian for your son you should either:
Prepare a will in which the individual is named as your son’s guardian.
Prepare a document, that must be dated and signed, which states that a particular individual will become your son’s legal guardian if you die.
It would be sensible to discuss your choice of legal guardian with anyone else who may have an interest in your son’s wellbeing, such as other family members. Even if you prepare a will or specific legal document dealing with this issue, the decision is not necessarily legally binding.
Someone who disagreed with your choice of guardian could bring a legal case to change the person who has guardianship. For this reason, it is vital to discuss the decision with anyone who does have an interest in your son’s welfare to ensure that there is no disagreement if guardianship becomes necessary. If such a case was brought, the court would consider what was best for the child and reach a decision about whether the person you appointed, or someone else, is the appropriate person to look after your son.
i recently fostered a little boy but he is now with another foster carer and his social worker is putting her recommendation to the courts that he be adopted.i have thought about adopting but wonder if i could go for legal guardianship instead.would this be possible and would his natural parents be able to ask for him to return to them at any time.
julie - 21-Nov-12 @ 8:56 PM
My husband and I are originally from Fiji and having been living in the UK for 10yrs. We now have two children and should anything happen to us, have asked my sister and her husband to be legal guardians of the kids (they live in Fiji).
Is this possible and what do we need to do to make this happen. We also have close friends in the UK who on a temporary basis can watch the children until my sister can get the kids. Again what do I need to do to make this happen?
JLY - 18-Aug-12 @ 2:14 PM
Just abit of advice needed, i married my partner 3 yrs ago and in 2011 had twin boys in january this yr i asked him to leave as i got fed up of him not helping financially even though her earned 3 times more than me per wk i paid the bills etc while his money went on beer. And he would go to the shop for me and come back the next morning after going to the pub and forget to come back, hes been to the docs and been told hes alcohol dependent. Hes had no interest in the twins since leaving not even a txt to see if their ok and doesnt help financially for them so i would like to change their surname to my maiden name would i need his permission? And could i make my sister their legal guardian if anything happened to me? Thanks
Chez - 23-Jul-12 @ 11:02 PM
From the third world like, india,pakistan,Bangladesh,
a child like me,who faces Bloody parents' blind religious,
and academically,having A+ From B st background
under Bangladesh Education Curriculum,
Maksimus - 11-Jul-12 @ 11:57 AM
My nephews are 2 and 4 years old and are in care,the social services have done an assessment on my husband and myself and have decided we are not suitable to have them with us due to our previous marriages. My husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 5 years,in that time we have never had an argument and4 of our 6 children have left home with good educations and are happy young adults. My husband daughter lives with her mother and our youngest son is still at home. We have decided to go and see our local mp and get the papers involved. What rights do with have and what advise can you give us?
reallylairy - 29-Jun-12 @ 8:24 PM
My sister has been looking after her granddaughtersince the day she was born, and is legal Guardian, to the baby, the mother did not want the baby, or anything to do with her, either did the mothers parents want the child.
However, now after two years. the grandmother on the mothers side, has approached my sisters boy, and suggests he get back with her daughter as she says she was immature at the time of the birth, and as the son, is an idiot he may fall for this story, and I think they want to take the child to the middle east!!!!! where does my sister stand in all this?????
angus - 29-Jun-12 @ 10:42 AM
Our only son was married, but died aged 26 when his daughter was 7 months old.
Our daughter in law remarried and out of the blue has said that our grandaughter(now 10) is to be adopted by her husband (of five years) and her name will be changed, as it makes life easier.
How will this affect us?
We feel we should do everything we can to maintain her rightful name
Do we have any rights at all?
grannygill - 15-Jun-12 @ 5:52 PM
Hi, am looking after how is 14 years old, my mum has moved far away and my brother didn't want to move with her as he didn't want to move schools ect, and now I want a move but the concel or saying as I don't have guardianship of him there's nothing they can do, so I was wounding if anyone knows what I can do to give me so kind of rights of him? :)))
Charchar 86 - 21-May-12 @ 7:37 AM
if the baby's moma moved out can the preson that has guardianship still get maintenace payments?
b_tindall - 9-May-12 @ 10:15 PM
@ MC - remember also that your guardianship wishes can always be over ruled by the courts (but are actually usually implemented if they're in the best interests of the child). You could add a letter of guardianship/ or letter of wishes to your will - nominating someone in the UK to take them in until they can travel and to see to their travel arrangements etc.
LawAndParents - 23-Apr-12 @ 10:05 AM
My husband and I are longtime UK residents, but he is a German national and I am a US and Irish national (dual citizen), with most of our close family in either the US or Germany. We are in the process of deciding who to nominate as guardian in our will for our young children should we both die, and therefore the guardian we choose is going to be resident in either Germany or the US. Can you please tell me what we need to do to ensure that our children do not spend any time in care following our deaths - do we need to appoint a temporary guardian here in the UK and specify travel arrangements/money for travel arrangements in our will?
MC - 20-Apr-12 @ 1:02 PM
Hi my son who is divorced from his wife but has dual responsibility for there 2 children is due to go to afghanistan at the same time as his ex wife for 7 months .She states that she will be leaving the children with an aupair for the duration.God forbid anything should happen whilst they are away.Would i be correct in saying that the children will need a legal guardian whilst they are away.The parents are both in the army and anything could happen.
steve - 3-Jan-12 @ 8:47 PM
My brother has put in for gaurdainship of my dad who is in hospital.Looking at the application there are a lot of things that I or my dad do not agree with.My Brother writes that my dad spends all his money on drink leaving my mum with not enough to pay the bills or feed herselfHe says that taking control of my dads finances would allow her to be better offIs it not the case that when my brother takes control of my dads finances the money is to be used for my dads benefit.I try to get some sense out ofmy dads social worker but she says things like he doesn't need much money in there.Also she says that my dad has had his copy of the application but he denies this and I haven't seen a copy in his bedroom.Lastly has he the right to a lawyer to defend himself.
croallski - 13-Dec-11 @ 1:11 PM
I wish to give my daughter guardianship of my youngest daughter as I find I am unable to cope with her. I don't want to put her into care and my oldest daughter has agreed to look after her. How do I give my eldest legal guardianship? Carol
carol, - 19-Jul-11 @ 4:10 PM
hi my 14 year old daughter was sexaully abused when she was 3 years old so has never had anything to with her she has always had a my friend by her side all the time and even now he tells everyone she is his same she as always told her friends he is her dad. Now she wants to know if and how we can take gaurdianship from the (bio thing) to the man that she has always called dad. i know it is something we would love it to happen.
i don't know - 11-Jul-11 @ 10:09 PM
I am currently fostering three siblings, 10, 9, and 4. The council has put forward a proposal to have the 4 yr old adopted, we feel that these children should stay together and are willing to look after all three until they reach 18, the council say we have no real claim on this even though their mum and dad want us to look after them all, what does a legal guardianship allow us to do and do we still get an allowance if so what is it? The council have asked if we can look after the older children which we will but the little one will propbably be adopted.