Home > Parent's Rights > Your Rights as a Guardian

Your Rights as a Guardian

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 22 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Legal Guardian Guardian Parent Parents

Many adults find themselves as guardian to the children of their partner who has perhaps passed away or who is no longer medically fit to look after their children. As a guardian, you have to make decisions in the best interest of the children. With this in mind it is worth knowing what the legalities of being a guardian are?

Being a Legal Guardian

If you are made a legal guardian, you are responsible for the wellbeing and safety of those children under your guardianship. This includes making sure they are fed, clothed, sent to school and are looked after in the same way they would be if their parent or parents were around to do so.

As a guardian, you will be called upon to making decisions that will directly affect how the children are schooled, how they are taught the difference between right and wrong, and how they are supervised during their lives up to the age of adulthood.

Becoming a Legal Guardian

In order to become a legal guardian, you must first undergo assessment by Social Services who will submit reports and their findings to the Family Proceedings Court. You will be assessed to see how you interact and deal with the child or children, how you plan to support them and also how you plan to ensure that their upbringing continues in a manner befitting that as desired by the child’s parents.

Social Services and the Family Proceedings Court must be sure that you can cope with becoming a legal guardian and that the children are happy with you as their guardian.

Family Proceedings Court

This is a court that deals specifically with aspects of family life and the welfare of children. With settings a little less formal than those of a traditional criminal court, the Family Proceedings Court is designed to rule in favour of what is best for the children.

If you seek to become a legal guardian – either as the result of a parent’s request or because you think it is the right thing to do – you will be asked to appear before the Family Proceedings Court and explain why you feel you can uphold the family values and parental responsibilities initially charged to the parent.

Your Rights as Guardian

If the Family Proceedings Court issues you with custody of the children in accordance with the wishes of the parent and the findings of Social Services, you have as much right as you would if you were the children’s natural parents. You are responsible first and foremost with their upbringing and also their grounding in moral responsibility, and you are legally obliged to be consulted on any issues relating to the children’s education and general upbringing.

For more information on becoming a legal guardian, consult with a solicitor who specialises in family law and with Social Services who can provide you with advice on how to proceed.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
We (maternal grandparents) have Guardianship of our 6 yr old grandchild.On 4-02-2018, a judge approved terminating our guardianship.We are currently in the transition phase which ends 8-01-2018. Our grandchild is scheduled to move to her Natural Father's home on 8-01-2018. 2 days into the Transition Phase - Natural Father started making changes to the agreed upon schedule our grandchild would spend between his home and our home.None of the scheduled time between our homes was followed per his requests.As of today, we have over $2000 in expenses that we have not been reimbursed for. Receipts have been provided twice.She has not been emotionally prepared to move in with her dad.Natural Father wants to wait to the last moment to tell her. I have learned he has changed jobs on July 1st.Natural Father & current wife presented to the judge they can/will provide GC (grandchild) with a loving and stable home environment.2) Current wife has established a relationship with GC and will be her primary care giver when Natural Father is away working in another state..3) GC has a fully furnished bedroom of her own. 4) GC has established a relationship with 2 grown siblings. Step-sister and Half-sister. Many things changed within 6 weeks of the signed transition agreement.....Wife & Natural Father are no longer together. Wife filed an emergency protective on 5-07-2018.Wife filed for divorce on 5-24-2018. To the best of my knowledge, the last time his wife seen our GC was on or about 4-02-2018.Step-sister has moved our of their dad's house and is no longer talking to their dad. GC cries and runs in the opposite direction of him to hide when her dad arrives to pick her up.Natural Father insist we tell GC of the upcoming move 3 days prior to the end of the transition agreement.And insists she be told without the present of her therapist.Plus he informed me last week he is moving my GC to the state that he currently works in. Plus he is about $900 behind in child support. Can I request a meeting with the judge to make him/her aware of all of the life events that have recently occurred in Natural Fathers life?.Should the judge be made aware of everything she based her ruling on has changed in his life?
sKA - 22-Jul-18 @ 11:21 AM
I am the childs legal guardian and maternal grandparent and i suffered a withdrawal from prescribed medication the child was placed back with mum as a temp arrangement and now im not allowed contact or allowed to exercise any of my rights and obligations laid out in the court order the child was in my care for 11 of the 13 years
jessy - 13-Jul-18 @ 2:19 PM
Hi I have parental rights and responsibilities and a residency order for my niece since the day she was born. There was never a father put on her birth certificate now my sister has married and put her husband on the birth certificate and done a name change without my permission as the form asks if everyone with rights has signed the form. No dna test has been done.
Emzy - 13-Jul-18 @ 12:16 AM
Virgolady - Your Question:
Social services took me to court because I am under the mental health depression and I’m a hoarder I am on the waiting list for mental health help from mind , they have removed my 7 year old son from my car and put him in my daughters care until he is 18 yrs I have taken my own steps in getting better , I have cleared my home of all my hoarding I bettered my son schooling from 62% and got it to 91% thing where looking on the up for me and my son , now he has gone I can only see him once a month being supervised, pls can anyone give me advice for what I can do to get him back.

Our Response:
You need to find someone who can give you individual support. Go back to your GP for help with your mental health problems and give Family Rights Group a call on 0808 801 0366 for help on the steps you can take to get more contact with your son.
LawAndParents - 22-Jun-18 @ 11:35 AM
Social services took me to court because I am under the mental health depression and I’m a hoarder I am on the waiting list for mental health help from mind , they have removed my 7 year old son from my car and put him in my daughters care until he is 18 yrs I have taken my own steps in getting better , I have cleared my home of all my hoarding I bettered my son schooling from 62% and got it to 91% thing where looking on the up for me and my son , now he has gone I can only see him once a month being supervised, pls can anyone give me advice for what I can do to get him back...
Virgolady - 21-Jun-18 @ 2:37 AM
My husband and myself have put ourselves forward to be a connected persons foster carers as my baby cousin was into care, we have undergone out assessments such we have our last one in june . The reason I'm posting is for some advice mainly as we had our assessment yesterday in which the social worker was able to give us some light on were out application was heading well it's not good news as she is saying she cannot give a positive recommendation to the panel as she has concerns one in which is my fertility as after having two eptopics which was three years ago she feels it is something that has affected my life and will continue to do so. I for one myself have learned to live with the losses and accept that i may not be able to have children naturally but it seems she has more of an issue with it then myself, so my question is can she use that against me would it be best if I wrote a letter to present at panel in my own words how I have managed to cope with the losses what do I do, i really don't want to loose my cousin knowing my husband and I are very capable of looking after her if her father losses in court
Titch - 23-May-18 @ 5:36 PM
Hi , i have 5 sons 4 of which are grown up and left the family home , i divorced my 1st partner along time ago to whom i had four of our sons together , then i met my 2nd partner and my youngest son of 14 years old now, i did however have a very bad relationship with his father and their was alot of domestic abuse involved , so when my son of 14 was growing up it was challenging and to the point where i've had his dad challenging me from day 1 always calling the social services on my saying i was unfit or i had not had my son to school this day or that day , i have not kept my son off school for no reason the social workers over the years have came out followed up the concerns an had non to report of the way i brought my son up, yet his father continued to take me to court year after year trying to gain residency of our son ,he was and is a violent man, my son at age 12 had became different his behaviour got more challenging and out of control he was being violent towards me refusing to go to school , his behaviour over the years was always challenging very but he had never hit me until that point and age , i had a number of social care workersfrom different departments as i went to them for help with my son so it happened my worse fear was they took him into care, so its been two years his father only ever took his son on a Saturday every week for one day and he continues to bring me down bad mouth me in front of my son , at meetings LAC reviews even at Hearings in front of all these people in authority yet he gets away with it , hes is also now being considered for residency i have done nothing wrong i have never stopped my sons father from seeing him , nothing have i done wrong why is this happening ? , i am in despair and hurt the authorities can turn something round to suit them.
nissy - 13-May-18 @ 7:36 AM
My husbands ex girlfriend who he has children to stopped my husband from seeing there children 8 yrs ago when we had our own son, she has in the past kicked 2 of there children out due to her not being able to cope so they came to live with us even tho contact was stopped and only allowed when she could no longer cope but the other children was still not allowed to see him,now a third child is again getting out of control and she can’t cope he won’t go to school or do as she asks, she’s put him on our door step after 8 years of no contact because she’s now going to be fined or took to court does and will this mean my husband will be fined or took to court aswell because she has no control over this child and has stopped my husband having contact ? We’re unsure what to do regarding him as this is no way our fault solely on her doing he was born in Dec 2013 and he is on the birth certificate, any Information would be great
H - 10-May-18 @ 11:24 PM
loulou - Your Question:
Can you please advise me if a guardianship court proceeding can happen without my knowledge.Thank you

Our Response:
What is your relationship to the guardian/child?
LawAndParents - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:39 PM
Can you please advise me if a guardianship court proceeding can happen without my knowledge. Thank you
loulou - 18-Apr-18 @ 12:12 PM
John - Your Question:
I presently have a shared residency order provided in 2002 to take parental responsibility of our grandson. Unfortunately my ex wife died recently, (although she did remarry 15 days before she passed). My question is - does the parental responsibility now fall solely in my hands which I am totally happy with, but does his now new 'step grandfather' have any rights in important decision making?

Our Response:
Has the step grandfather ever applied to the courts for parental responsibility or have you consented to any application from him to have parental responsbility? If not, there will be no parental responsibility. Your shared residency order was 16 years ago, so how old is the child?
LawAndParents - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:24 AM
i presently have a shared residency order provided in 2002 to take parental responsibility of our grandson. Unfortunately my ex wife died recently, (although she did remarry 15 days before she passed) . My question is - does the parental responsibility now fall solely in my hands which i am totally happy with, but does his now new 'step grandfather'have any rights in important decision making?
John - 9-Apr-18 @ 7:27 AM
My ex and I have separated 2 years ago. After a year, my ex has decided they no longer wish to have anything to do with me, or the children we have guardianship for. Is it possible to have their guardianship rescinded so that only I have guardianship? It's what they want, so it wouldn't be contested.
Paul - 26-Mar-18 @ 4:24 PM
vic - Your Question:
Hello My partner and I have separated and have an adopted 4year old. He see her every other weekend. she resides with me and I am financially responsible for her. He constantly states he has rights when he wishes to randomly see her in the week nights when she is tired after nursery and I don't feel that he is acting in her best interests. I have the opportunity of a better paid job to provide greater financial security for her but it is 300miles away.he can not look after her or provide financially for her so I feel moving for this job would be better for us as it would also mean that I am ear my family. Would he be able to prevent me moving? is it best that I get a residency order over my daughter to enable us to move?

Our Response:
Even with a residency order, your ex partner will retain parental responsibility and will therefore have a say in any important decisions.It's perfectly possible for him to apply for prohibited steps order.
LawAndParents - 16-Mar-18 @ 2:39 PM
My child has been with a foster carer for 1 year and she going to take me to court for legal guardianship what will this mean
Telza - 15-Mar-18 @ 8:52 PM
Hello My partner and I have separated and have an adopted 4year old. He see her every other weekend. she resides with me and I am financially responsible for her. He constantly states he has rights when he wishes to randomly see her in the week nights when she is tired after nursery and I don't feel that he is acting in her best interests. I have the opportunity of a better paid job to provide greater financial security for her but it is 300miles away.he can not look after her or provide financially for her so I feel moving for this job would be better for us as it would also mean that I am ear my family. Would he be able to prevent me moving? is it best that I get a residency order over my daughter to enable us to move?
vic - 13-Mar-18 @ 12:48 PM
We, as grandparents, are looking after our 10 year old grandson after the death of our daughter a year ago, who in her Will appointed us legal guardians. We thought we were automatically legal guardians with parental control but now are having doubts. Should we register with the authorities to make our guardianship official? The child's father is not named on the Birth Certificate but he has regular contact with his son and is intending to go to Court with a C1 in view of our ages (73 and 78).If the father is successful with his C1 will we lose our rights ? Thank you
Rona - 1-Mar-18 @ 10:23 PM
Me and my daughter are leagle guardians for 2 young boys my nephews who unfortunately lost both parents 2years ago. We claim leagle guardianship and family allowance. We struggle with work and especially the school Holliday. We gave no other help it’s like we just had them and no one has ever been to see if they are ok or anything which they are fine. I was just wandering if we were intitled to any other benifit it’s really hard trying to cloth them feed them just for extra £16 leagle guardianship allowance.
Shirley - 1-Mar-18 @ 1:54 PM
jc - Your Question:
I have my nephew that I love him but my concern is the legal guardian is her grandmother she is going back to Puerto rico and he going to stay with me but he is in high school I want to give him a good educated life. the grandmother ask me if that ok if he stay with me. of course I want him to stay my question is what is the next step that I have to do. please I need an answer I want to do the best for him he is 16 years old.

Our Response:
You could consider applying for a special guardianship order? Here is some more information from the family rights group
LawAndParents - 19-Feb-18 @ 10:49 AM
I have my nephew that I love him but my concern is the legal guardian is her grandmother she is going back to Puerto rico and he going to stay with me but he is in high school I want to give him a good educated life. the grandmother ask me if that ok if he stay with me. of course I want him to stay my question is what is the next step that I have to do. please I need an answer I want to do the best for him he is 16 years old.
jc - 18-Feb-18 @ 2:38 AM
Neussy- Your Question:
My uncle being the arrogant pig he is has just threatened me via email, telling me that if I attempt to move in with or even see my boyfriend he will take out some court order that states I can’t see him at all. He said if he does this is means that I will have a mark against my name for the rest of my life. Is this even possible? And if so what right does he have? He is not my legal guardian, I am 17 and my boyfriend is 19

Our Response:
Why would he be able to do this? Sorry there really isn't enough information here for us to give you any advice.
LawAndParents - 16-Feb-18 @ 3:41 PM
My uncle being the arrogant pig he is has just threatened me via email, telling me that if I attempt to move in with or even see my boyfriend he will take out some court order that states I can’t see him at all. He said if he does this is means that I will have a mark against my name for the rest of my life. Is this even possible? And if so what right does he have? He is not my legal guardian, I am 17 and my boyfriend is 19
Neussy - 15-Feb-18 @ 10:16 AM
Hi. My 3 children 9, 6 and 2, live with my grandmother as she is their legal guardian. My grandmother now refuses to let me see or talk to them even though it was arranged in court that I'm to have contact. Apart from December 23rd 2017 I haven't seen them since June 2017. Every time I have called the landline and spoke to my 6year old he asks when I'm going to see him again and I have to tell him to ask nanny. When I have spoke to my 9year old over the phone in the past before my nan cut all contact, she has told me numerous times that she wants to live with myself and my partner. Recently, I have found out that my nan hits (not smack) my 9year old the last time that happened she hit my daughter across the face. My daughter has behaviour problems but adHD has been ruled out. My 6 year old however, does have adhd. If my nan can hit my daughter when she is misbehaving then what is not to say that she's been hitting my 6 year old and 2 year old too? Can I apply to the courts to have my children returned to my care and what steps should I take if my nan refuses to let me have any contact with them?
Kelbell - 14-Feb-18 @ 4:47 PM
Gabby - Your Question:
My grandson will be 18 in April 2018. Due to a family breakup I.e. he refused to live with his mum and her fiance as he feels he would not be safe so is now living with us his grandparents. He has autism and attends a special school. He has Aspergers.ADD and PDA. He wants me his Nannan to be his guardian as at a review meeting they had to get his mum's permission to pass on relevant information to a 3rd party to do with his transfer from one L.A. to another in regards to his future education. He therefore wants me to start court proceedings to remove his mum as his guardian even though I have tried to tell him he's 18 in 8 weeks time. His reply was look what happened at that meeting. Ge is very rigid in his thinking etc What to do?? ???

Our Response:
Is he registered with special needs etc? If so the scope of this could extend past his 18th birthday and you may need to take official steps to become his legal guardian.
LawAndParents - 13-Feb-18 @ 2:32 PM
My grandson will be 18 in April 2018. Due to a family breakup I.e. he refused to live with his mum and her fiance as he feels he would not be safe so is now living with us his grandparents. He has autism and attends a special school. He has Aspergers.ADDand PDA.He wants me his Nannan to be his guardian as at a review meeting they had to get his mum's permission to pass on relevant information to a 3rd party to do with his transfer from one L.A. to another in regards to his future education. He therefore wants me to start court proceedings to remove his mum as his guardian even though I have tried to tell him he's 18 in 8 weeks time. His reply was look what happened at that meeting. Ge is very rigidin histhinkingetc What to do?? ???
Gabby - 11-Feb-18 @ 9:17 PM
I’m wondering if your on guardianship and your 20 years ago can you move out of home to apply for somewhere else to live, if I didn’t want to live with them anymore.
Suzig1997 - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:02 PM
Steph - Your Question:
Hi my older sister is 20 and she wants to take full custody of me I'm 16 years old she wants to take custody because our home environment is really bad as in physical abuse to me and my dad abusing my mum so what would she need to do? Also my parents don't want to allow it so how long would be the process

Our Response:
At age 16 a child can usually choose where to live but note you can still be taken into care at the age of 17 if the authorities think you are at risk/not properly cared for etc.
LawAndParents - 12-Jan-18 @ 11:51 AM
Hi my older sister is 20 and she wants to take full custody of me I'm 16 years old she wants to take custody because our home environment is really bad as in physical abuse to me and my dad abusing my mum so what would she need to do? Also my parents don't want to allow it so how long would be the process
Steph - 10-Jan-18 @ 1:52 PM
Liz - Your Question:
My sister has legal guardianship over my 9yr old daughter for about 8yrs now but I, the natural birth mum has had constant contact with my daughter on holidays and weekends, she also gets to see her three younger siblings on these occasions, who I have full custody of, what rights do I have over my daughter and could I ever get her back?

Our Response:
If your sister has a special guardianship order for your daughter, you may have to apply to courts to have the order discharged. The judge will consider all the circumstances and make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
LawAndParents - 20-Dec-17 @ 2:53 PM
my sister has legal guardianship over my 9yr old daughter for about 8yrs now but I, the natural birth mum has had constant contact with my daughter on holidays and weekends, she also gets to see her three younger siblings on these occasions, who I have full custody of, what rights do I have over my daughter and could I ever get her back?
Liz - 19-Dec-17 @ 11:11 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LawAndParents website. Please read our Disclaimer.