Special Guardianship Order

Need legal advice relating to a Special Guardianship Order (SGO)? Our knowledgeable family law solicitors in Leeds are here to help. We have a team of highly experienced family law solicitors lead by Laura Clapton who is renowned in the field of Family Law & family Mediation in Leeds.

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

The purpose of a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is to give children a secure, permanent home without legally severing the child’s link to their birth parents.

SGO’s are commonly made regarding children who:

  • Are remaining in the care of wider family members;
  • Require minimal disruption from parents in relation to decisions about their care and welfare;
  • May require a level of support from the local authority (LA) longer term.

Foster carers who choose to care for a child long term are also being encouraged to become special guardians (SGs) to reinforce the child’s sense of belonging.

What does a special guardianship order do?

A SGO is a private law order that appoints a person or persons as a child’s SG (section14A(1) Children Act 1989). It gives a person parental responsibility (PR) for a child. This is sometimes described as “super-parental responsibility” because the SG can exercise PR to the exclusion of any other person with PR, except for another SG (section 14C, CA 1989). For example a SG can make decisions about a child’s schooling which overrides the decisions and wishes of the child’s parents. However an SG cannot change a child’s surname or remove them from the Country for 3 months or more without permission from the Court or the other persons with PR.

An SGO lasts until a child reaches the age of 18 unless discharged by the court.

Who can apply to be special guardian?

Any person who is aged over 18 and is not the parent of the child who is the subject of the application can apply for an SGO. More than one person can be appointed as a child’s special guardian (section 14A, CA 1989). The following persons do not require permission from the court before applying to become a special guardian:-

  • Any guardian of the child;
  • Any individual in whose favour a “live with” order (formally a residence order, now part of a Child Arrangements Order) is in force in respect of the child;
  • Any person with whom the child has resided for a period of at least three years (this need not be continuous but must not have begun more than five years before, or ended more than three months before the application is made);
  • Where a “live with” order is in force, any person who has the consent of every person in whose favour the order was made;
  • Where the child is in the care of the LA, any person who has the consent of that authority;
  • Any person who has the consent of each of those persons (if any) who have PR;
  • A LA foster parent with whom the child has lived for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the application;
  • A relative with whom the child has lived for at least one year immediately preceding the application.

Any other person wishing to make an application for an SGO will require permission from the Court.

A prospective SG must give the relevant LA three months’ notice of their intention to apply for an SGO.

Factors of the Court when making a SGO

The Court cannot make a SGO without a Local Authority report in relation to the suitability of the prospective SG to care for the child.

The Court will consider the welfare checklist set out at section 1(3) of the CA 1989 including:-

  • The wishes and feelings of the child, considered in the light of his age and understanding;
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in his circumstances;
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of his, which the court considers relevant;
  • Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  • How capable each parent (and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant) is of meeting the child’s needs;
  • The range of powers available to the court.

The court must also consider the following:

  • Whether a CAO in relation to contact should also be made in respect of the child;
  • If a contact order or CAO made with respect to the child is not discharged, any enforcement order relating to that contact order or CAO should be revoked;
  • Whether any section 8 order in force with respect to the child should be varied or discharged;
  • If a contact activity direction has been made regarding contact with the child and is in force, that contact activity direction should be discharged.

Additional Court Powers when making a SGO

When the court deals with an application for an SGO, it also has the power to:

  • Give leave for the child to be known by a new surname or make a specific issue order, which can include changing a child’s name;
  • Grant leave for a child to be removed from the UK, either generally or for a specific purpose;
  • Attach conditions to an SGO. These are subject to the same limitations as conditions attached to a residence order/CAO. The conditions can apply to:
    • the person in whose favour the order is made;
    • a parent of the child, including the unmarried father who has not acquired PR for his child;
    • a person who is not a parent but who has PR for the child, for example, a guardian or a person with a “live with” order; or
    • a person with whom the child is living.

If you are considering an application for a Special Guardianship Order or you are the Respondent to a SGO application and would like advice and assistance, or information generally, please contact our expert family solicitors on 0113 322 922 or enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk or complete our contact us form.


Contact Laura

    What Our Clients Say About Our Family Law Services

    Laura Clapton has been brilliant and very professional through the Mediation process. I highly recommend her.

    Jen Huggett

    Absolutely five star service from Laura Clapton and her team, always kept informed of progress, and Laura was always available on the end of the phone to answer any questions. Highly recommended, thank you Consilia Legal.

    Jane C

    Professional and personal. Vicky was very caring and listened to my issue, advice was clear and easy to understand. Vicky ensured my mind was at ease and I knew my options. Excellent service. Sarah really knows the family sector, she puts you at ease instantly and ensures you are aware of all the options. Would definitely recommend this service. Thank you for your help.

    Catherine White

    Vicky guided me through the legal context of an employment and was very efficent, approachable and supportive. I would highly recommend this company and Vicky to others who need legal support and advice. Many thanks.

    Maureen Sheridan

    Had a great experience working with Victoria. Felt completely comfortable asking all kinds of questions and she always explained them really well.

    Julia Mariani

    I often get clients asking if I can assist with employment and family matters. As this is not my area of specialism I am conscious to help assist by passing them onto a trusted source who will look after the client in the best manner possible and with the same approach and ethos as myself. For employment and family matters I recommend to Consilia Legal as they contact the client promptly and provide practical no nonsense advice at a great value. I have no hesitation in recommending their services and will continue to direct my clients to them for this type of legal advice.

    John Bailes

    What our clients say about Consilia Legal on

    • Honest , sensible and efficient advice given over telephone . Very impressed . Would recommend

      alison purdy
      4/26/2020

      Consilia Legal was recommended by a friend. Victoria provided excellent guidance in a timely manner. Would definitely recommend.

      Alison Metcalfe
      4/06/2020
    • I emailed Sarah at Consilia and received a very quick response.
      Sarah agreed to call me the following day and called me at the agreed time so no waiting for the call!
      Sarah was fantastic, she offered great advice and left me feeling alot more positive and informed on my situation.
      I cannot recommend highly enough, professional and caring and highly informative.
      Thank you

      kate Fricker
      3/26/2020

      Great service provided by Andy from initial contact all the way through to completion. Very helpful and knowledgeable and helped to get everything sorted out quickly. I would highly recommend.

      liam miller
      3/06/2020
    • Andy Boyde made the process straight forward and easy (Redundancy contract). I found him very knowledgable and was able to answer all my questions with ease. I would recommend the firm for employment matter.

      Mark Timmons
      2/26/2020

      I was delighted with the advice and help Andy gave me. He was extremely helpful in a very stressful time and I would highly recommend anyone looking for legal advice - FIRST CLASS !!

      Nick Hall
      1/09/2020
    • I would like to say a big thank you to Emma Cartlidge Employment Solicitor. She was extremely professional, friendly and polite and very thorough in her work. Emma helped me with my matter making sure to stay in touch and keep me fully informed at all stages. The service from Consillia Legal has been amazing. Everyone I have spoken to has been super friendly and so helpful including Matt on Reception and Victoria who I spoke to for initial advice. This is definitely a 5-star rated law firm and I would not hesitate to recommend Emma and her colleagues. A big thank you !

      RAVINDER Heer
      1/09/2020

      Marie Walsh is undoubtedly the best employment solicitor in Leeds, if not the whole of Yorkshire. I always knew this from her great reputation and she recently assisted me with a very complex and difficult matter. Marie handled the situation with a pragmatic approach and endless patience. I cannot recommend her enough - she is an absolute superstar! I also dealt with Andy Boyde in her absence who was extremely professional and great to deal with.

      Bin Sparkes
      1/05/2020
    • Andy Boyle provided a very friendly, good and fast customer service. I would recommend using this practice.

      Reiss Malone
      1/02/2020

      I could not have asked any more from Andy. He was really friendly and helped me through a very difficult time. He did not waist time, both to make sure we resolved the matter quickly but also to keep cost to a minimum. I’m extremely happy with his services.

      Tatiana Sebastiao
      12/24/2019
    • I had to get a Solicitor a pretty short notice, and Andy was able to see me the same day. He made me feel very at ease and explained everything to me so I could understand it better. I would highly recommend Consilia to everyone
      Thank you again Andy for your fantastic advice and support

      Kelly Rawson
      12/18/2019

      I received clear, straightforward advice from Andy Boyde. I always felt that Andy was acting in my best interest. When I met him, Andy's approach was approachable and relaxed but still very professional.

      Martin Curran
      11/09/2019
    • Consilia provided a great service during a difficult period when I was made redundant. Vicky showed great professionalism and expert knowledge in addition to genuinely caring about resolving my situation. I would highly recommend them.

      Phil Sugden
      11/06/2019

      Andy from Consilia Legal was fabulous in providing support and advise in what was a very difficult period in my working life. We managed to get a fair deal for my settlement and all with in a short space of time. Once again thank you Andy

      Richard Pickles
      10/31/2019
    • Laura and the team have been an incredible help in my divorce. Through a very difficult time they have always been on hand to offer exceptional advice and assistance. I have always felt reassured by their professionalism and care. Thank You.

      tim capper
      10/23/2019

      Consilia were fantastic helping me deal with a redundancy issue. They were helpful and professional. Really put my mind at ease knowing I had their help

      Robert Cubbon
      10/07/2019
    • I recently had occasion to require the services of an employment lawyer and was recommended to this firm by a professional colleague. I have dealt with many lawyers around the world in the most complex business transactions and personally. I can honestly say I have never received the level of consideration and service from any other legal firm to match that of Consilia Legal. From the moment they picked up the phone to my initial call to the matter being finalised in record quick time; their service and attention to detail was never less than exemplary. Their legal advice was also spot on. It is extraordinary to see this level of service across every aspect of a business and it is a huge credit to Marie Walsh and her team (especially Emma Cartlidge) that they are all able to make their clients feel so welcome and so cared for. I would heartily recommend them to anyone.

      Stephen Wilson
      9/13/2019

      I recently needed legal help with a settlement agreement post a redundancy. I have never had the need to use a solicitor's services before. Going by the great reviews on Consilia I decided to give their services a go. I had the pleasure to be attended by Emma Cartlidge and she made the experience simple and easy. The offer was reviewed and amended with precision and I needn't worry about anything. I would recommend Consilia to anyone nervous about using legal services and in need of employment law advice.

      mszkamio .
      9/11/2019
    • Superb professional, supportive & friendly service by Laura and her colleagues.

      Their responses to both emails and telephone calls were quick and precise.

      I could and not of asked for a better service during a very difficult period, and would not hesitate to use again.

      Steve

      Steve Wallis
      9/02/2019

      Thanks Laura and team at Consilia Legal. Great service and such a pragmatic and human approach to the legal system. Fitted really well with my personal values. Truly aimed at being conciliatory rather than adversarial.

      David Beaumont
      8/18/2019
    • Thanks Laura and team at Consilia Legal. Great service and such a pragmatic and human approach to the legal system. Fitted really well with my personal values. Truly aimed at being conciliatory rather than adversarial.

      David Beaumont
      8/18/2019

      Emma was amazing for me, and I would highly recommend her and her firm for any employment related issues. She helps with making it easy to understand and makes the whole process as swift and efficient as possible. Thank you for all of your help.

      Terri-Rochelle Ward
      8/15/2019
    • Andy Boyde at Consilia Legal was more than helpful I highly recommend him for he went above and beyond. If your looking for a good honest solicitor who is genuine and transparent throughout then look no further.
      Danielle Phillip

      Danielle Phillip
      7/31/2019

      I would have no hesitation in recommending Consilia Legal. Being in the more than capable hands of Marie & Andy collectively, helped me through an employment issue, which was difficult at times. However the support I received was highly proffessional, with a very caring approach at all times & they guided me through the process. Thank you so much. Elaine

      Elaine Dale
      7/22/2019
    • Sarah Manning was great - really efficient and supportive. I would recommend her to anyone.

      Leah Gore
      6/28/2019

      Marie and her staff have been very helpful. Marie had assisted me previously with an employment law issues so I had no hesitation in engaging her again. She helped me through an unpleasant job related matter when I was at a low ebb and feeling unable to fight my own corner. As before Marie gave sound, straight forward advice and took over the handling of communication with my employer until the matter was resolved. When I had to take action myself Marie was always there to consult if I was worried about something. I would thoroughly recommend Consilia Legal to anyone.

      Amanda Keers
      6/24/2019
    • Marie, Andy, Victoria and Emma were exceptional in their help, advice and support – all done with a non-nonsense super friendly approach. Really took the stress out of a difficult corporate employment process. I felt safe and confident in their capable hands, recommending them highly.

      Sophie Webb
      6/03/2019

      Excellent personal support, advice and understanding from Marie, Emma and the Team, thanks for all you have done.
      Highly recommended

      Ian Reed
      5/30/2019
    • Received a really good service from Marie and the team including Emma, who offered valuable support throughout. I contacted Consilia following a recommendation from a union representative. Was given great advise through her trusted associate who offered an accurate and professional assessment. Marie secured a really good outcome due to her knowledge, perseverance, conscientiousness and genuine desire to try and get the best outcome on my behalf. A lot of genuine empathy and respect expressed and a brilliant negotiator. Very well informed, experienced and brilliant communicator. True to her word re costs as discussion was upfront and honest. Very reasonable rate compared to other firms. Would recommend to others Thank you very much!

      Elaben Mistry Jackson
      5/26/2019

      Received a really good service from Marie and the team including Emma, who offered valuable support throughout. I contacted Consilia following a recommendation from a union representative. Was given great advise through her trusted associate who offered an accurate and professional assessment. Marie secured a really good outcome due to her knowledge, perseverance, conscientiousness and genuine desire to try and get the best outcome on my behalf. A lot of genuine empathy and respect expressed and a brilliant negotiator. Very well informed, experienced and brilliant communicator. True to her word re costs as discussion was upfront and honest. Very reasonable rate compared to other firms. Would recommend to others Thank you very much!

      Elaben Mistry Jackson
      5/26/2019
    • Very professional and got the right result for me in a very timely abs efficient manner. Great service, good advice and an excellent result I couldn’t have got on my own

      Jon Geldart
      5/23/2019

      Excellent service from Laura Clapton guiding me through a difficult divorce process. Super efficient, professional and carries out the work with understanding and compassion for your situation. Would highly recommend and have already recommended.

      Jo Allan
      4/09/2019
    • Professional, swift responses and detailed answered. Received THE BEST customer service from Andy Boyle at Consilia. Definitely Recomendd!

      Arooj Iqbal
      3/18/2019

      Professional and received good customer service. I would really recommend them as they helped me to negotiate my way out of a difficult work situation on the best terms possible. Andy was very polite and knowledgable.

      Diane Holden
      3/15/2019
    • Consilia have done a good job of mediating the discussions across family and financial matters. Quick responses, good communication and a helpful/flexible approach.

      Rob Hennessy
      3/06/2019

      Victoria Horner offered me employment law advice over the telephone and via email which was impartial but ultimately a game changer in the redundancy situation I found myself in with my employer. Victoria’s advice was instrumental in allowing me to negotiate redundancy and meant I was fully abreast of the law when having conversations with my employer. Victoria presented to me options which I have not yet considered or been made aware of a being entitled to which placed me in a stronger position when in dialogue with the HR department I was dealing with. This made me feel more empowered and gave me back some control during a very unsettling and confidence eroding time. Thank you Victoria.

      Sarah De Biase
      3/06/2019
    • I had a great service from Laura and her team at Consilia Legal and would certainly recommend them to others. The service was very friendly and informative keeping me up to date in a timely manner and been on hand to offer advice when needed. Thankyou.

      Matthew Bell
      3/05/2019

      I was recommended Andy Boyde of Consilia Legal by a good friend in the profession to handle a personal issue. Dealing with Andy has been a pleasure from start to finish. Calls and emails were answered and dealt with in a timely manner and he gave a great deal of attention to run through legal jargon in layman's terms. Thoroughly recommended.

      Michael Dockwray
      3/01/2019
    • I dealt with Vicky at Consilia Legal and I couldn't thank her and the team enough. Very fast and efficient and will go out of her way to help in anyway possible. Would recommend over and over again. Thank you

      Lauren Clark
      2/11/2019

      Laura Clapton has been brilliant and very professional through the Mediation process. I highly recommend her.

      Jen Huggett
      1/22/2019
    • I was most impressed with the speed and efficiency which Andy Boyde at Consilia Legal handled my case. I selected Consilia Legal after reviewing previous feedback which had positive comments regarding the areas I was interested in. The way my case was handled turned a stressful situation into a quick and stress free process. I would have no hesitation in recommending Consilia Legal.

      Craig S
      1/02/2019

      Great service from Andy and the team. Handled my case very professionally and I was given excellent advice. Very informative and always responded promptly. Would highly recommend.

      Adam Orange
      12/04/2018
    • Very quick and reassuring response from Andy and the team here after a very difficult situation at work. Referred from Citizen Advice Bureau because all other firms seemed less bothered about my needs versus their fees. Andy gave great advice and helped explore my options so I could respond appropriately without being cornered by my work. Ended up with a very amicable outcome! In difficult times you need people like Consilia to help guide and support you... thanks guys

      Mirra Riz
      12/03/2018

    Latest articles

    Alcohol Awareness Week 16-22nd November 2020

    Alcohol Awareness Week 16-22nd November 2020

    Alcohol Awareness Week 16-22nd November 2020 A new survey commissioned by Alcohol Change UK, shows that almost 1 in 3 drinkers (29%) have been drinking...
    gaslighting

    Gaslighting

    Gaslighting At Consilia, we are pleased to share with you a guest blog, written by divorce coach, Danielle Barbereau on the important issue of Gaslighting....
    redundancy & notice periods

    Redundancy and Notice Pay – The Arcadia Group ‘U-turn’

    Redundancy and Notice Pay – The Arcadia Group ‘U-turn’ https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/814/pdfs/uksi_20200814_en.pdf For those who will unfortunately have to make redundancies in the face of the impact...

    Leeds

    Open Hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

    4 Park Place,
    Leeds,
    West Yorkshire,
    LS1 2RU

     0113 322 9222
     enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk

    Get In Touch

      Harrogate

      (By Appointment Only)

      Windsor House,
      Cornwall Road,
      Harrogate,
      HG1 2PW

       01423 222 220
       enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk

      Got a question?
      Get in touch!

        Party 1 Details

        Check this box if you have the details of this party's solicitor to hand:

        Party 2 Details

        Check this box if you have the details of this party's solicitor to hand:

        Party 1's Solicitor Details

        Party 2's Solicitor Details

        Are There Any Children in the Family?

        Child One Details



        Child Two Details



        Child Three Details



        Child Four Details



        Child Five Details



        Child Six Details



        What Issues Would You Require Mediation for?

        ChildrenFinancesAll Issues