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Discharging sgo

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:14 am
by Libra2812
To cut a long story short, in september 2013 my now four year old son was made subject to a special guardianship order with my mum however in the final hearing it was set out that i could live with my son and my mother and do "shared care" as they decided to put it. The reasons for this is that i have aspergers, was 18 and the father of my son was abusive.

3 and a half years on, i still live with my mum and son. I do the majority of the care and am basically a mother who lives with her mum. i have nearly finished university and am in a long term relationship. my son is doing welll and my anxiety is a lot better.

I am wondering what my chances are in revoking the special guardianship is as i know it can be quite difficult but i do want to be able to move out and be completely independent. i have briefly spoken to a solicitor who has informed me that it would cost 2,400 for just one hearing which is obviously a lot of money. just need some guidance on what to do and also whether it would be possible to self represent or would i need a solicitor.

Re: Discharging sgo

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:54 am
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear Libra2812,

Welcome to the Parents forum.

Here is our advice sheet about Special Guardianship Orders for Parents.

I can see how well things are going for you and your son. He is thriving and you have moved on with your life; gaining a degree, your anxiety has reduced and you are in a new long term relationship. Is your relationship healthy? Did you seek support from a domestic violence organisation such as women’s aid?

What does your mum say? Does she agree to you moving out with your son? As a special guardian, she has enhanced parental responsibility, so can make practically all the major decisions about your son’s life including where he lives. See the advice sheet, I linked above.
If she agrees with the plan, you could start making any changes without the need to inform children services, as they will have closed their case and have left the legal power with your mother. Then, if things go well, you could jointly seek permission from the court to revoke the special guardianship order.
Or alternatively, both you and your mum could present a united front to the court (so your mum could do a letter of consent) supporting your application. The court may ask that children services assess any changes before it makes a decision.

If your mum doesn’t agree, then things will be more difficult.
As special guardianship orders, are seen as long term orders, you would need to apply for leave or permission from the court first. You would need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances (which it sounds like there has). But you would also need to show the much harder criteria, that it is in the best interests of your son. The welfare checklist is referred to when deciding what is in the best interests of a child.
You do not necessarily need advice from a solicitor or direct access barrister, but it makes things easier. You could also seek free private law advice from Coram children’s legal centre or Rights of Women. .

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions or need further advice, please post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,


Re: Discharging sgo

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:01 pm
by Libra2812
Yes my mum is completely in agreement with me and is in the process of writing a letter, I have also spoken to the father of my son who says he will write a letter agreeing aswell.

another question, if i understand what you said correctly can i move out and live with my son by myself (or with my boyfriend) without ending the special guardianship and then wait a while then go to court at a later date etc or would it look better to revoke first then move out?

Re: Discharging sgo

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:02 pm
by Libra2812
and yes my relationship is healthy and i did go to a support group a few years back but obviously do not need to now!

Re: Discharging sgo

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:34 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Hi Libra2812,

Yes, legally, you could make the move to be the main carer of your son, if grandma, who is a special guardian agrees with this plan. She was assessed by children services before she obtained the special guardianship order. On the basis of that assessment, she was seen as being able to make the decisions about your son, including where he lives.
Children services case will be closed apart from providing any support.

However, many special guardians would want the court to approve a move before it takes place. So for children services or cafcass to assess that it is the best way forward and also whether your son might need any support to ensure the move to live solely with you and your partner goes well.
If the move to living with you and your new partner did not work, then your son might suffer. So it is best to anticipate any difficulties beforehand. What’s the plan for contact with grandma for example?
You could discuss the logistics of the private law court application with the organisations I mentioned in my last post.

That is good news that you obtained the support you needed at the time.

If you have any questions or need further advice, please post back or call our advice line.

Best wishes,