Family Law Blog

Separate representation of children in contact proceedings – The Child’s Guardian

24 April 2017, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors

In certain circumstances, in private law children act proceedings the court decides that the children should be made a party to the proceedings and separately represented.

The court appoints a guardian for the children to represent and safeguard their interests.

This can happen e.g. when the animosity between the parents is such that they fail to take into account the interests of the children.  A guardian can also be appointed if there are allegations of physical or sexual abuse by one parent.

The children’s guardian is a qualified social worker, trained and experienced in dealing with children and families. The children’s guardian is independent and normally works for Cafcass. They are to assist the court in achieving the best possible outcome for the children.

The duties of the guardian are;

  1. To appoint a solicitor for the child
  2. To advise the court with regard to the progress of the proceedings
  3. Write a report with their recommendations about what is in the best interests of the children, which will include their wishes and feelings.

 

The recommendations of the guardian may be in conflict with the wishes if the child, in those circumstances the child’s solicitor will out forward to the court the views of the child and the guardian will present their own conclusions.

If you are experiencing problems with the arrangements for your children, or would just like to find out more information about the issues raised above, please contact   Nicola Dunkerley. Please call 0161 883 0460 or email Nicola.dunkerley@taylorking.co.uk  for further information.