Do Godparents have rights?
Often parents will appoint Godparents for their children under the assumption that they will become the carers for their children in the event of their death, – but do Godparents actually have rights?
The short answer to that question is no.
Under the Family Law Act 1975, section 61C provides that each of the child’s parents has parental responsibility for the child unless there are any Orders or parenting plan in place which say otherwise.
This remains the same despite any changes to the relationship of the parents, for example, separation, divorce or one parent re-marries.
So, what happens if one parent dies and there are no Orders in place, but you have appointed Godparents? The answer is that it is not that simple.
Godparents have a more spiritual role rather than a parental role.
If you are separated from the child’s other parent and you die and there are no Orders in place regarding the child, the surviving parent cannot just make the child live with them.
Similarly, the deceased parent’s wishes do not take precedence.
Under section 65C of the Family Law Act 1975, any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child may apply to the Court for a parenting order. The Court can appoint a person based on what the Court believes is in the best interest of the child.