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‘Relative’ has a specific meaning in family law. The term is defined in the Children Act 1989.

A relative is defined as someone who is not the child’s parent but is a grandparent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother. This includes half-brothers and sisters who share only one parent. It also includes people who are related to a child by marriage or civil partnership. For example, a parent’s husband or wife or stepbrothers and stepsisters.

The definition is important because it has implications in terms of who can apply for certain orders including a special guardianship order or child arrangements order.

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