Guardianship of Infants Act 1886

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1886 c. 27


Guardianship of Infants Act, 1886

(49 & 50 Vict.) CHAPTER 27.

An Act to amend the Law relating to the Guardianship and Custody of Infants.

[25th June 1886]

W HEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to the guardianship and custody of infants:

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Short title.

1 Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as theGuardianship of Infants Act, 1886.

S-2 On death of father, mother to be guardian alone or jointly with others.

2 On death of father, mother to be guardian alone or jointly with others.

2. On the death of the father of an infant, and in case the father shall have died prior to the passing of this Act then from and after the passing of this Act, the mother if surviving shall be the guardian of such infant, either alone when no guardian has been appointed by the father, or jointly with any guardian appointed by the father. When no guardian has been appointed by the father, or if the guardian or guardians appointed by the father is or are dead, or refuses or refuse to act, the Court may, if it shall think fit, from time to time appoint a guardian or guardians to act jointly with the mother.

S-3 Mother may appoint guardian, in certain cases.

3 Mother may appoint guardian, in certain cases.

(1)3. (1.) The mother of any infant may by deed or will appoint any person or persons to be guardian or guardians of such infant after the death of herself and the father of such infant (if such infant be then unmarried), and where guardians are appointed by both parents they shall act jointly.

(2) (2.) The mother of any infant may by deed or will provisionally nominate some fit person or persons to act as guardian or guardians of such infant after her death jointly with the father of such infant, and the court, after her death, if it be shown to the satisfaction of the court that the father is for any reason unfitted to, be the sole guardian of his children, may confirm the appointment of such guardian or guardians who shall thereupon be authorized and empowered so to act as aforesaid, or make such other order in respect of the guardianship as the court shall think right.

(3) (3.) In the event of guardians being unable to agree upon a question affecting the welfare of an infant, any of them may apply to the court for its direction, and the court may make such order or orders regarding the matters in difference as it shall think proper.

S-4 Powers of guardian.

4 Powers of guardian.

4. Every guardian in England and Ireland under this Act shall have all such powers over the estate and the person, or over the estate (as the case may be), of an infant as any guardian appointed by will or otherwise now has in England under the Act twelve Charles the Second, chapter twenty-four, or in Ireland under the Act of the Irish Parliament fourteen and fifteen Charles the Second, chapter nineteen, or otherwise.

S-5 Court may make orders as to custody.

5 Court may make orders as to custody.

5. The court may, upon the application of the mother of any infant (who may apply without next friend), make such order as it may think fit regarding the custody of such infant and the right of access thereto of either parent, having regard to the welfare of the infant, and to the conduct of the parents, and to the wishes as well of the mother as of the father, and may alter, vary, or discharge such order on the application of either parent, or, after the death of either parent, of any guardian under this Act, and in every case may make such order respecting the costs of the mother and the liability of the father for the same or otherwise as to costs as it may think just.

S-6 Power to Court to remove guardian.

6 Power to Court to remove guardian.

6. In England and Ireland the High Court of Justice, in any division thereof, and in Scotland either division of the Court of Session, may, in their discretion, on being satisfied that it is for the welfare of the infant, remove from his office any testamentary guardian, or any guardian appointed or acting by virtue of this Act, and may also, if they shall deem it to be for the welfare of the infant, appoint another guardian in place of the guardian so removed.

S-7 Guardianship in case of divorce or judicial separation.

7 Guardianship in case of divorce or judicial separation.

7. In any case where a decree for judicial separation, or a decree either nisi or absolute for divorce, shall be pronounced, the Court pronouncing such decree may thereby declare the parent by reason of whose...

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