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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if your granddaughters father has joint parental responsibility please?
Yes ,but he is working and not able to provide full time parenting
Thanks. To confirm he does hold parental responsibility, could you confirm if he was married to your daughter when your granddaughters were born or if not were your granddaughters born after December 2003 and he named on your granddaughters birth certificates?
Yes, they were married before the birth of both girls.
thank you. On that basis, were in the hopefully unlikely event anything to happen to your daughter, her father would have parental responsibility in respect of the girls. If he is unable or unwilling to take custody of the girls and it is his isn't your daughter's wish for example that you take on this role instead, then as there grandparents, you can apply for a residence order for them. In addition, to add weight to such an application, your daughter can consider making a will which among other things includes a guardianship provision appointing you as their legal guardian.
although the girl's father would have parental responsibility in respect of the girls, if he does not wish was unable to take on this role, the combination of guardianship appointment in your favour in your daughters will and their father's consent should make an application for a residence order favourable providing you are able to take on such a role.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
I suppose I should mention that of course if you are looking after the girls with their fathers consent, then you may not need to consider applying for a residence order. Though their father has parental responsibility in default of a residence order there is nothing that prevents youas grandparents takeing the day to day role in looking after your grandchildren with their fathers consent.
I need a little time to consider your reply
Of course. Do let me know if you have any follow up questions.
Another consideration which might have a bearing on the situation is that the father has progressive Parkinson's disease
Quite. Is he willing for you to look after the girls on a day to day basis or do you foresee any form of conflict potentially with him were anything to happen to your daughter?
There might be conflict
Thanks. Ideally therefore as above your daughter will consider making a will which includes a guardianship provision in your favour and then in the event anything were to happen to your daughter, you could consider proceeding initially with cooperation from her father but it necessary making an application for a residence order for your granddaughters. Depending on the age of the girls, their wishes along with the provisinos of your daughters will and their fathers condition and ability to look after them will all be considered and weighed accordingly by the court in making a decision.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Thank you for your help. Do you have any other advise for us ?
Ideally if your daughter is well enough, it may be sensible to have a meeting with her and the girls father in order to discuss potential options. As distressing and difficulties such meeting might be, in the event anything were to happen to your daughter, it could be helpful for all parties concerned to understand each other's wishes and concerns in such circumstances.
in addition, leaving aside parental responsibility, in terms of your daughter providing for her daughters, she may wish to look at establishing a trust fund within her will for her daughters provision and if she is still married to her father, the ensure that any assets that are held jointly with their father are held as tenants in common to ensure that they do not automatically pass in ownership to the father.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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One final question - will social services be involved automatically in these cases.
Providing adequate care provisions are made for your granddaughters there should be no involvement of social services. They typically become involved when concerns are raised as to how children will be cared for. They may make an assessment of your granddaughters care arrangements to satisfy themselves as to the same but would not (and it deed cannot) seek to remove children from famliy without cause
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Thank you again. You have been most helpful
A pleasure. I hope all goes well with your daughters procedure and all of the above proves to be academic