Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

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TNA238
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:58 pm

Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by TNA238 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Hi


I hope you can help me.


In December 2017, my son who is now 19 months old was given to the care of my Mum and Step Dad in Ireland under an SGO order due to my mental health as I suffered a bipolar manic episode, being homeless and in an abusive relationship with xxxx s father.


My circumstances have drastically improved and I am now in a position that I want my son back in my care.


I am no longer under mental health services, I have a full time job and I am in a committed long term relationship with my partner xxxxxx.


I wondered what the likelihood was of having a successful outcome and whether the court would see my changes as significant enough to overturn the SGO that is in place.


The relationship between myself and my mother has turned very sour as she says xxxxxxx is hers now and I have no right to contest. On several occasions she has threatened to cancel contact between me and xxxxxx. The whole thing is causing a lot of stress and I just want my son to be back with me as I feel I am able to give him long term stability and a loving family environment.


My mother's concerns are that I have a relapse. I have explained that even it that was to occur (however it is unlikely according to my doctors) that I have enough support in place - i.e my partner and close friends around me that I would not relapse fully before I was given the right support from mental health services so this would not affect O*** in any way.


I want to take this to court as soon as possible as I want to provide permanency for my son before he becomes to settled where he is.


Any advice on this would be so appreciated.


Thanks


T***
(*edited by Suzie for confidentiality)

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Dear TNA238

Welcome to the parents discussion board and thank you for posting.

My name is Suzie, online adviser, at Family Rights Group.

I see from your post that your son was placed with your mother and stepfather under a special guardianship order (SGO) in 2017 and you are now anxious to have your son back in your care.

It appears that the SGO was made in the jurisdiction of England and Wales although your mother resides in Ireland. I am not able to advise you on the law in Ireland as our remit covers only England and Wales.

Normally, to make an application in this jurisdiction the application is made in the court local to where the child lives. As your son lives in Ireland I think it would be best for you to get advice from a lawyer in Ireland regarding the legalities around how a SGO works there. Alternatively, you can make enquiries in your own local family court about how you would go about making an application to discharge a special guardianship order when the child lives abroad.

To make an application to discharge a SGO would mean that you have to obtain permission from the court to do so. Also, the court has to consider whether significant changes have been made in relation to the concerns that existed at the time the order was made. You would have to provide evidence to support any change. The court will consider the child’s welfare and whether it is in the child’s interest for the order to be discharged.

You continue to have parental responsibility for your son so it is not really right for your mother to say that he is hers now. She has an order that he lives with her and she can, under the order, make decisions about his upbringing and exercise her parental responsibility without your agreement. A copy of our advice sheet Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents? will give you more information about your position as your son’s mother.

This organisation may be able to give your more information relating to your son’s current status living in Ireland under a SGO.

You may also be able to get advice from Child Law Advice on 0300 330 5480 who advises on private law matters which your application to discharge a SGO would be.

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

TNA238
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:58 pm

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by TNA238 » Mon May 13, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi Suzie,

I have investigated all this in more depth and have spoken to Child Law Advice who have advised me that although my son lives in Ireland the jurisdiction is still in the UK as that is where the order was originally made.

Circumstances have changed again as I am currently 6 months pregnant with my partner xxxxx whom I am marrying in February. We have a social worker involved because my son was taken out of my care but she has no concerns about us as we have an extensive support network, good income and stable housing. The social worker is also writing a report to recommend that my son is returned to my care as it would be the best for our family as Mother is making it quite plain that she does not want my son to have too much of a relationship with our daughter. I also have mental health services on hand in this pregnancy who have said that they will write a report verified by a psychiatrist that I have full capacity to be a mother so if my mother says in court that I am unstable and unfit to be a mother then it will hold very little weight. I also have close friends through the church including our vicar who said they will back me getting my son back and throw their support behind us.

My mother is still making contact difficult and whenever I disagree slightly with her she shouts if you're going to be like this you're not going to see your son. I don't feel it's fair for her to use him against me like this and my perinatal mental health team are concerned that her attitude and actions are detrimental to my mental health and progress.

I am currently focusing on bringing my daughter into the world in August and getting her settled and then look to take matters to court in the New Year when I have the backing of social services, mental health team and health visitor to move things forward.

The only sticking point is legal representation. I have been quoted between £15,000 and £20,000 in total for proceedings which we can not afford with a new baby on the way and myself being on maternity leave for 9 months. Child Law Advice said I could represent myself in court to reduce legal fees but this is daunting and I would worry it will damage my case not having a legal brain present to help me navigate the whole process. Does it make a difference in outcomes if you have a solicitor or not?

I'm hoping with all the support I have in place I will get a positive outcome. I'm keen to move things forward before my son is of school age and too settled where he is. I am also keen to make the transition period for my son as stress free for him as possible but I am unsure how my mother will react.

Any advice would be really helpful.

Thanks

T
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Mon May 13, 2019 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Post moderated to protect anonymity

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:21 pm

Dear TNA238

I am pleased that having investigated matters further you now have a better understanding of your situation with regard to contact with your son.

You are right to concentrate on your pregnancy and keeping well for the birth of your daughter.

Do you think it might help to have family mediation to see if you and your mother can resolve matters amicably without the need to go to court? You mum may be finding it difficult to accept that you may want to have your son back in your care so having a discussion might help.

Child law Advice is right you can represent yourself at court and although it does seem daunting, the courts are quite used to parents and others representing themselves since legal aid has been hard to come by in private law cases.

It is good that the social worker would be supportive of your son being returned to your case and that would be helpful to you if you make an application.

Any application you make would be in private law proceedings and, as previously explained, we do not cover private law and if you need further advice in this regard, I suggest that you contact Child Law Advice.

Best wishes

Suzie

Cxr123
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:58 am

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by Cxr123 » Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:45 pm

Hello I was looking for advice on how to get special guardianship over turn I was under mental health team where I gave up parental rights to my mum and dad when my child was 18months old this is to last until he is 16/18 ,
Child is now 10 I’m in a much better place with my long term partner I can’t work due to health issues but this does not stop me being my child mum .
I have my child every weekend and though out lockdown my child was with me I did home schooling too just wondering where I stand .
Many thanks in advance

A father love
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 09, 2021 4:10 am

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by A father love » Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:30 am

Hi 👋 can you please tell me how serious child trafficking is taken in the UK

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Overturning a Special Guardianship Order

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 06, 2021 2:14 pm

Dear A father love,

Child trafficking is criminal offence in the UK. You can read more protecting children from trafficking and modern slavery on the NSPCC website here.

You can report any concerns you have about a child being trafficked to the police, your local children's services department or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. In an emergency, always call 999.

Best wishes,

Suzie.

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