How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Subject: 14 year old grandson JoshParents: Mother and father

Customer Question

Subject: 14 year old grandson Josh Parents: Mother and father not married, separated when Josh was a year old. Mother died when Josh was 10 years old and his 23 year old elder brother and guardian (Paul) has been looking after him since and shares Parental Responsibility with Josh’ father. Josh’s father has not had met with Josh for 11 years and has played no part in his upbringing although, as noted, he shares PR with Josh’s elder brother/guardian. Due to a change in his domestic circumstances, Josh’s brother/guardian asked if Josh could come and live with me, to which I readily agreed and Josh has been living with me since !st June 2014 and attending a local high school. Paul has provided me with signed letters giving me authority to arrange Josh’s education and health matters. I am not sure of the strength or legality of this arrangement and I think that I should for Special Guardianship, a course of action to which both Josh’s guardian and father agree and seems to legalise the present informal arrangement My question is, ‘Do you think this an appropriate course of action and do I have a chance of succeeding?


Note;  Defunct email appended, it should be:


Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Would a simple Residence Order not be sufficient?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

I thank you for your response.

Being the grandparent and not a parent of the child, I find the online documentation rather confusing when one steps out of this parent/child envelope and I am just trying to find out that what we have in place at the moment is both sufficient and legal and if not, what should take it's place. I am also not sure how this would protect the child should his absent father object to the arrangement. I tried reading about a Residency Order but I couldn't really make sense of it.


Josh is adamant that he wants to live with me and we all now consider this a permanent arrangement so I just need to be sure that there are no unexpected problems lurking round the corner. Josh's father has contacted me and after explaining the situation to him he has stated that he has no objections.

I hope this is of some use and my apologies for my disjointed response.



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
A Residence Order would give you Parental Responsibility for the Child and his father would have to apply to the court if he wished to change the living arrangements - and would be unlikely to succeed given the age of your grandson, unless it was also what your grandson wanted
A Child Arrangement Order (new name) would be easy and simple to obtain given the co-operation of the father and brother and would not involve Social Services.
Applying for Guardianship would be more complicated and would involve Social Services.
The form you need is here
and you will need permission to apply - the form is here
The fee is £215
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details