God Parent or Guardian? What is the Difference?

It has recently been reported that Mrs Victoria Beckham is considering the appointment of her celebrity friend Eva Longoria to be a god mother for her fourth child.

When a child is born parents will often turn to close family members or friends and ask them to be a god parent for their child. This Christian tradition has been a means of ensuring the children’s religious upbringing. In reality, as a god parent is usually close to the family they would normally take a general interest in the child’s wellbeing and development.

A god parent is not a legal appointment and if, for example, the parents were to die or become incapable of caring for the child the god parents would not automatically become responsible for that child.

Should the worse happen it is important to be reassured that your children would be cared for in accordance with your wishes. To plan for this, you should consider appointing a Guardian which would normally be done in conjunction with making a Will. A Guardian, compared with a god parent would assume legal rights and obligations in respect of a child if there were no surviving parent with parental responsibility for the child. It is important to note that the appointment of a Guardian will only take effect on the death of any parent with parent responsibility. However, a Guardian could apply for a Residence Order in respect of the child if it was considered in the best interests of the child to live with the Guardian rather than the surviving parent.

For further advice on these issues please do not hesitate to contact our family department on 0845 0738 445 or info@mlpsolicitors.co.uk