Do godparents have rights?
- AuthorHayley Meskimmon
If you're thinking of appointing godparents ( or have been asked to become a godparent), it's important to understand your legal position, should anything happen to prevent parents from caring for the child themselves.
What rights does a godparent have?
A godparent is not a legal appointment. This means that godparents have no automatic legal rights. If the parents were to die or become incapable of caring for their child/ren, godparents would not automatically assume legal responsibility for them.
To ensure that a child/ children would be cared for in accordance with the parents their wishes if they die or became incapacitated, parents can appoint a legal guardian (which might be the godparent). This is normally done in conjunction with making a will.
The guardian would assume legal rights and obligations in respect of the child/ren in the event of there being no surviving parent with parental responsibility. The appointment of a guardian only takes effect on the death of any parent with parent responsibility. However, a guardian may apply to court for a residence order in respect of the child and if the Court considered it in the best interests of the child for him/her to be placed with their guardian then they can do this, rather than with the surviving parent
Are you a Grandparent? Click here for advice on the rights of Grandparents.