Prohibited Steps Orders
If you have a child with your former partner, or you share parental responsibility, you may not always agree on every aspect of their upbringing. When you want to prevent someone from making a specific decision about your child, applying for a Prohibited Steps Order may be the most appropriate course of action.
Taking action in the form of a Prohibited Steps Order can be an understandably daunting prospect, especially where you wish to maintain an amicable relationship with your former partner. It is therefore essential that you have the best legal and personal support to ensure you are making the right decision for your child’s welfare.
At Barcan+Kirby, our highly rated Family Law team supports clients across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury. If you need support with Prohibited Steps Orders or any other child law matter, we can provide straightforward and sensitive advice to help you secure your desired outcome.
What is a Prohibited Steps Order?
A Prohibited Steps Order is a specific type of court order that can be issued to prevent someone (usually a parent or someone with parental responsibility) from making a decision about a child’s upbringing.
Prohibited Steps Orders can be used to prevent someone from making a wide range of parental decisions, including but not limited to:
- Relocating a child to somewhere in the UK or overseas
- Removing a child from school
- Moving a child to a new school
- Changing a child’s name
- Consenting to a child undergoing certain medical procedures
- Bringing a child into contact with a particular person
Parents, legal guardians or holders of Child Arrangements Orders or Special Guardianship Orders will be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989. The only exception to this is if the child is 16 years old or over, or if they are currently in the care of a local authority.
Looking for more information? Please see our Prohibited Steps Order FAQs or get in touch to discuss your case with a member of our team.
Why choose Barcan+Kirby for help with Prohibited Steps Orders?
There are several reasons to work with our experts if you would like to make a Prohibited Steps Order. These include:
- Extensive expertise in contentious child law matters, including in situations involving domestic abuse allegations
- Ranked by Chambers and Partners UK for our Family/Matrimonial expertise
- Family Law and Children Law accredited by the Law Society
- Three members of the team; Hanni Pennelegion, Kirsten Hale and Gareth Hughes are also individually ranked by Chambers and Partners for their expertise
- Ranked by the Legal 500 for Family
- All of our Family Law team are members of Resolution, the UK’s leading professional network for family lawyers
To ensure that you have all the support you need, we are highly experienced in working with other legal professionals and will take the time to build as strong a case as possible for you and your children.
Prohibited Steps Order FAQs
The Court that signs off on a Prohibited Steps Order will ultimately decide on how long it will last. Under normal circumstances, the Prohibited Steps Order will last for six or 12 months, or until a particular event takes place.
The Order must always come to an end by the time the child turns 18.
You will typically be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order at any stage, provided the child it relates to is under the age of 16.
To apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, a Form C100 must be completed and filed with the Family Court. You will only be able to do so if you have parental responsibility for the child.
There may be certain exceptions to this, but you must still apply for permission from the Court. For example, if you are the father of the child, but your name is not on the birth certificate, you will need to speak to the Court.
It is also important to point out that, before you apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, it must be shown that you have attended a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This is to demonstrate that you have made an attempt to resolve the matter without the intervention of the Courts.
Overturning or challenging a Prohibited Steps Order is possible. That said, the Courts will only overturn a decision if they decide that a Prohibited Steps Order will negatively affect a child in any way.
Challenging a Prohibited Steps Order that is already in place may be something that both parties are able to agree on amicably. If so, the original applicant can request the court to change the Order, who will then consider both the welfare and best interests of the child.
Prohibited Steps Orders are legally binding. This means that, if someone breaches, or fails to comply with, a Prohibited Steps Order they will be considered to be in contempt of court.
If a parent is in contempt of court, they could face a range of penalties, including:
- A fine
- An unpaid work requirement
- An enforcement order or suspended enforcement order