Guardianship of Infants Act 1964
F53 [ Relatives and certain persons may apply for custody of child
11E. — (1) The court may, on application by —
(a) a person who is a relative of a child, or
(b) a person to whom subsection (2) applies,
make an order giving that person custody of the child.
(2) This subsection applies to a person with whom the child concerned resides where the person —
(a) (i) is or was married to or in a civil partnership with, or has been, for a period of over 3 years, the cohabitant of the parent of the child, and
(ii) has, for a period of more than 2 years, shared with that parent responsibility for the child ’ s day-to-day care,
(b) (i) is an adult who has, for a continuous period of more than 12 months, provided for the child ’ s day-to-day care, and
(ii) the child has no parent or guardian who is willing or able to exercise the rights and responsibilities of guardianship in respect of the child.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), the court shall not make an order under subsection (1) without the consent of each guardian of the child.
(4) The court may make an order dispensing with the consent of a guardian if satisfied it is in the best interests of the child to do so.
(5) The court, in making an order in respect of a person to whom subsection (2) applies, may grant custody of a child to the child ’ s parent and such person jointly and, in doing so, shall —
(a) where these are not agreed as between the person and the parent of the child, specify the residential arrangements that are to apply in respect of the child, and
(b) where the residential arrangements that are to apply in respect of the child provide that, for any period, the child will not reside with one of his or her parents, specify the contact (if any) that is to take place between the child and that parent during that period. ]