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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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Hi. My partner and I are not married and I have a 4yrs old

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Hi. My partner and I are not married and I have a 4yrs old daughter. My daughter's biological father passed away and I have no living family in the UK. I would like to make my partner to be my daughter's legal guardian (unless there is a better option?) until we are married. I understand I will need to apply through court and it may take 2 mnths or longer. I am happy to do this now. However, we are going away in two weeks on a long holiday to Thailand and I would like to know if there is a short-term solution to ensure my partner has a legal right to look after my daughter if anything happened to me? thank you Ms XXXXX


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can help with your question.

You can appoint your partner as your daughter's guardian in your will. It is quite straightforward, and you can either execute a codicil to your existing will or execute a whole new will.

If you don't have a will yet, I would strongly recommend that you put one in place; particularly in circumstances where you are not currently married to your partner, and so he would not automatically inherit upon your death but you do wish him to be your daughter's guardian.

If you do not wish to pay a lawyer to help with your will, you can find websites on the internet that will help you prepare one at a fairly low cost.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mac


Thank you for your reply. In my understanding, appointing a guardian in a will doesn't automatically guarantee my daughter will be looked after by my partner in case of my death. Can my will be challenged by any other applicants for custody? (I can't think of any, but I understand that I can only will with regards XXXXX XXXXX and only express my wishes with regards XXXXX XXXXX daughter). My main concern is, really, with 'parental responsibility'. Can I give any to my partner NOW without us being married, so as it also remains in place should I die? It is very confusing to me as to best (i.e. least complicated and least expensive) way to proceed to guarantee my child is looked after by a nominated person if I am unable to do so (not just in case of my death). It seems easier if you are married to someone..... I understand an alternative is applying for a residency? I don't really understand what that means and would I need a solicitor for this? thank you.


It is correct that other people (obviously I don't know who, if any at all, in your case) could challenge the appointment of a guardian - but you cannot prevent that from happening. Just because a challenge is made does not mean it will be successful, a Court could decide.

As you have parental responsibility, and assuming that no-one else currently does for your daughter, then your appointed guardian would automatically gain parental responsibility at the time of becoming guardian.

If the two of you married, you could enter into a parental responsibility agreement, but that means you would share parental responsibility while you are alive, rather than just transferring it in the event of your death.

A will is the simplest way to deal with your original concern.

I hope that clarifies things for you.
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