Appoint or remove a guardian

It’s free of charge to apply to be a child’s guardian or to ask the Family Court to stop a person from being a guardian.

If you want to apply, you'll need to fill in an application form and give it to the Family Court.

On this page:

How to apply to appoint or remove a guardian

When the parents and/or guardians aren’t applying together

  1. Fill in one of the guardianship forms(external link). Select the type of guardianship you're applying for in the first box. Select whether you're appointing or removing the guardian in the second box.
  2. Decide if you're applying 'on notice' or 'without notice'.  Select 'without notice' if you want the guardian to be appointed or removed straight away. This means the other people involved will get to have their say after the court makes its decision. If you select 'on notice', the other people involved get the chance to respond to your application before the court decides if it will appoint or remove the guardian.
  3. File your application - you'll need to do this yourself. You can’t get a lawyer to file an application for a Guardianship Order. Find out more about how to file documents

When you want to appoint a new partner as a guardian

  1. Fill in this form:
    Appointment of additional guardian by parents [PDF, 193 KB]
  2. You’ll also need these two forms:
    Declaration of parent (or testamentary guardian) of the child [PDF, 34 KB] (both parents and any testamentary guardians should fill in this form)
    Declaration of the proposed additional guardian of the child [PDF, 25 KB] (the new partner should fill in this form)
  3. The new partner will also need to include a copy of their criminal record with the forms.
    Find out more about getting a copy of a criminal record
  4. File your application - you'll need to do this yourself. You can’t get a lawyer to file the application.
    Find out more about how to file documents

Where to get help

If you need help to fill in the forms, you can call us or visit your local Family Court

Fees & costs

It’s free to ask the Family Court to appoint, declare or remove a guardian or settle disputes between guardians. You may need to pay some of the costs for:

  • a lawyer for the child
  • a lawyer to assist the court
  • specialist reports.

This is called a Cost Contribution Order.

Find out more about Cost Contribution Orders