Special Guardianship Orders

If you wish to care for a child whose parents are unable to look after them, you can obtain legal guardianship, parental responsibility and sometimes financial support by obtaining a Special Guardianship Order.

 

Caring for a child who’s not your own

There may come a time when social services request that you look after a child that is not your own. For example, your brother or sister may not be able to properly care for their child due to mental illness or drug-related problems.

A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) issued by the court gives legal recognition to a person caring for a child who is not your own. A SGO entitles you to making important decisions for that child which affect his or her life, for example, their education, medical care and religion.

If you are planning on caring for a child that is not your own, you should seek advice from an experienced Children Law solicitor to allay any worries you may have.

Important things to consider

Applying for a SGO may mean that you can receive financial help as well as practical help from your local council. There are a lot of things to consider if you are thinking about a SGO such as carers’ rights versus parents’ rights, including contact arrangements (sometimes called visitation rights).

The law in relation to SGOs is relatively new and is still developing. It is a specialist area of law and it helps to get advice from a solicitor experienced in aspects of Children’s Law.

When applying for a SGO, it is very important that your local authority complies with the small print. The right legal advice will ensure you get the best results for yourself and the child in your care.

We have prepared a factsheet with more information on Special Guardianship Orders. For more information, please click here.

Why use Fisher Meredith?

Fisher Meredith is an award winning London law firm with offices in Richmond, Surrey and Kennington, London. Our Children’s Law solicitors have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results.

For 35 years, Fisher Meredith has developed a reputation for being approachable and “going the extra mile” for its clients whilst maintaining ethical and socially responsible standards.

Our Children’s Law Department is one of the largest in the UK and our solicitors have a wide range of experience concerning Children’s Law cases. Our solicitors frequently represent clients on SGO applications and many are accredited by the Law Society’s Children’s Panel.

When applying for a SGO, there may be specific challenges that need to be made over financial and support packages through Judicial Review proceedings. Fisher Meredith is one of the few law firms in London that has a specialist team dedicated to this area that works alongside our Children’s Law Department.

What should I do now?

If you want to discuss whether a Special Guardianship Order is right for you, or wish to obtain more information about the application process, our Children’s Law solicitors will provide you with quality advice to achieve the best possible outcome.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors, please contact our helpline on 0800 014 7445.

Key Contacts

Ravi Mahey

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2766
Email

Jessica Johnston

Trainee Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2767
Email

Clare Colvin

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2758
Email

Emma Sherrington

Partner & Deputy Head of Children's Law Department
+44 (0)20 7091 2779
Email

Petrina Roberts

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2727
Email

Judy Bishton

Solicitor Advocate
+44 (0)20 7091 2760
Email

Valerie Greenfield

Partner
+44 (0)20 7091 2761
Email

Jamie Phillips

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2768
Email

Candace Benjamin

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2745
Email

Rachel Benett

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2769
Email

Maria Healy

Partner & Head of Children's Law Department
+44 (0)20 7091 2724
Email

Yanoulla Kakoulli

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2818
Email

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Fees


Family matters to include (but not exclusively) any issue concerning children, such as their place of residence, contact to you or another family member, adoption and special guardianship

Solicitor

Senior Solicitor (5 years PQE plus)

Consultation of no more than 2 hours to include taking your instructions and to advise you about the menu of available orders and to provide written advice and to include a cost estimate for further steps as may be advised and/or necessary.

£350

£450

The above interview is diagnostic in nature and thereafter our fees will be charged at an hourly rate, these will range from £100 to £240 per hour plus VAT.

If you believe that you may qualify for public funding in respect of any of the above please contact our New Client Enquiry Team free on 0800 014 7445 who will be able to advise you about this. Please note that since 1 April 2013 there have been a number of significant changes to the public funding regime which may mean that your matter is no longer within scope of civil legal aid.