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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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SPECIAL GUARDIANSHIP ORDER: K (Guardianship Order) v Sheffield City Council [2011] EWCA Civ 635
Date:20 JUN 2011

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Black LJJ; 25 May 2011)

The father was a Muslim from birth. The mother converted to Islam after meeting the father. After the father married another woman in Pakistan, the mother left the 18-months-old child with the maternal grandmother, who lived with her lesbian partner. The child was now 4-year-old and had lived continuously with the grandmother. Following attempted abductions by mother, the grandmother applied for a residence order. The local authority carried out assessments and brought care proceedings. One of the assessments ordered by the judge was not available at the final hearing, however the judge refused to order a further viability assessment and granted the grandmother a special guardianship order and made a s 91(14) order in respect of the parents for 2 years 4 months.

Held that there was ample material available to the judge to make her decision and it was open to her to take the view that it was sufficient. Nor could it be said that insufficient consideration had been given to the child's cultural background. The s91(14) order was justified in the interests of the child to provide a period of calm in this unusual case.