Guardianship of Infants Act 1964

F29[Power of parents to appoint testamentary guardians


7. (1) On the death of the guardian (deceased guardian) of a child, a guardian (surviving guardian) surviving the deceased guardian, if any, shall be guardian of the child jointly, where applicable, with

(a) any other surviving guardian, and

(b) any person or persons appointed testamentary guardian by the deceased guardian in accordance with this section.

(2) A guardian who is

(a) the parent of a child, or

(b) not being the parent of the child, has custody of him or her to the exclusion of any living parent of the child,

may by deed or will appoint a person or persons to be guardian (testamentary guardian) of the child after his or her death.

(3) On the death of a guardian referred to in subsection (2), the testamentary guardian appointed by the deceased guardian shall, subject to subsections (4) and (5), act jointly with a surviving guardian of the child so long as that surviving guardian remains alive.

(4) Where subsection (3) applies and

(a) a surviving guardian referred to in that subsection objects to a testamentary guardian acting jointly with him or her, or

(b) the testamentary guardian considers that a surviving guardian is unfit to have the custody of the child,

the surviving guardian or the testamentary guardian, as the case may be, may apply to the court for an order under this section.

(5) On an application under subsection (4), the court may make an order providing that

(a) the appointment of the testamentary guardian is revoked and the surviving guardian shall remain guardian of the child concerned,

(b) the testamentary guardian shall act jointly with the surviving guardian, or

(c) the testamentary guardian shall act as guardian of the child to the exclusion, insofar as the court thinks proper, of the surviving guardian.

(6) Where the court makes an order under subsection (5)(c), it may make all or any of the following orders:

(a) such order regarding the custody of the child and the right of access to the child of the surviving guardian as it thinks proper;

(b) an order that a parent of the child shall pay to the guardian or guardians, or any of them, towards the maintenance of the child such weekly or other periodical sum as, having regard to the means of the surviving parent, it considers reasonable.

(7) An appointment of a testamentary guardian by deed may be revoked by a subsequent deed or by will.]




Substituted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 50, S.I. No. 12 of 2016.

Modifications (not altering text):


Power to make care order provided (31.10.1995) by Child Care Act 1991 (17/1991), s. 20, S.I. No. 258 of 1995; as substituted (9.01.1998) by Children Act 1997 (40/1997), s. 17, commenced as per s. 9(2); and as amended (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (2/2004), s. 75 and sch. 7 part 6 item 19, S.I. No. 887 of 2004.

Proceedings under Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989, etc.

[20. —(1) Where in any proceedings under section 7, 8, 11, 11B or Part III of the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, or in any case to which—

(a) section 3 (3) of the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act, 1989,

(b) section 6(b) or 10(f) of the Family Law Act, 1995, or

(c) section 5(2), 11(b) or 41 of the Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996,

relates, or in any other proceedings for the delivery or return of a child, it appears to the court that it may be appropriate for a care order or a supervision order to be made with respect to the child concerned in the proceedings, the court may, of its own motion or on the application of any person, adjourn the proceedings and direct [the Health Service Executive] to undertake an investigation of the child’s circumstances.]



Enforcement of orders under section provided (12.07.1986) by Courts (No. 2) Act 1986 (26/1986), s. 5, commenced on enactment; as amended (9.01.1998) by Children Act 1997 (40/1997), s. 14(a) and (b), commenced as per s. 1(2). The Fines Act 2010 (8/2010). ss. 3 and 6, table, ref. no. 1 applies to the fine in subs. (2), making it not greater than €2,500 but greater than €1,000.

Enforcement of certain orders under Guardianship of Infants Act 1964.

5.—(1) In this section “the Act of 1964” means the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, as amended by the Courts Act, 1981, [the Age of Majority Act, 1985, the Status of Children Act, 1987, and the Children Act, 1997].

(2) Without prejudice to the law as to contempt of court, where the District Court has made an order under [section 7, 11 or 11B] of the Act of 1964 containing a direction regarding—

(a) the custody of an infant, or

(b) the right of access to an infant,

any person having the actual custody of the infant who, having been given or shown a copy of the order and—

(i) having been required, by or on behalf of a person to whom the custody of the infant is committed by the direction, to give up the infant to that person, or

(ii) having been required, by or on behalf of a person entitled to access to the infant in accordance with the direction, to allow that person to have such access,

fails or refuses to comply with the requirement shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [£1,500] or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding [twelve months] or to both such fine and such imprisonment.


Editorial Notes:


Previous affecting provision: section amended (9.01.1998) by Children Act 1997 (40/1997), s. 12, commenced as per s. 1(2); substituted as per F-note above.


Previous affecting provision: subs. (7) repealed (1.01.1967) by Succession Act 1965 (27/1965), s. 8 and sch. 2, S.I. No. 168 of 1966, subject to transitional provisions in s. 9; section substituted as per F-note above.