Specific Issue Orders
Sometimes parents cannot agree on decisions relating to their children’s upbringing which can lead to various difficulties between them.
If parents are not able to resolve matters between themselves, they may need to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order. This type of order permits the court to decide on a dispute or specific issue that the parents are struggling to agree on. Specific Issue Orders can be used to make decisions relating to a child’s education, residence, religious upbringing or medical treatment.
We can provide comprehensive legal information and support regarding matters such as:
- Mediation Information Assessment Meetings and mediation generally
- Applying for a Specific Issue Order
- Assistance where a Specific Issue Order is broken
At Barcan+Kirby, our highly rated Family Law team support clients across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury. If you need support with a Specific Issue Order or any other family law matter, we can offer sensitive, clear expertise to get your family to where you need to be.
What is a Specific Issue order?
Where parents cannot agree on a particular aspect of their child’s upbringing, an application can be made for a Specific Issue Order, to determine the issue that is in dispute.
In most cases, the disputing parents are first required to attempt mediation to resolve the issue out of court. Where mediation is not successful, it may then be necessary to apply to the court to obtain a Specific Issue Order.
Such orders can be used to determine various different matters, including:
- Where a child will live
- Where a child will attend school or any other disputes concerning a child’s education
- Disagreements about a child’s medical care or treatment
- Whether or not a child will have a religious upbringing
- A change of name
Looking for more information? Please see our Specific Issue Order FAQs or get in touch to discuss your case with a member of our team.
Why choose Barcan+Kirby for help with Specific Issue Orders
There are many reasons to work with our specialists if you need a Specific Issue 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
We also have much experience working with relevant third-party professionals, helping us to ensure that we build a case as robust as possible and that both you and your children access the comprehensive support that you require.
How we can help with Specific Issue Orders
Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting
Prior to applying for a Specific Issue Order, you and your child’s other parent may be required to have a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
The idea of the meeting is to assess whether your specific issue could be suitable for a mediation process. Mediation involves attempting to resolve the issue out of court, through negotiation with your ex-partner and with the support of a trained mediator.
At Barcan+Kirby we can provide all the legal information you need about mediation and assist you through the necessary processes.
Where cases are not suitable for mediation, for example, where any domestic violence has occurred, you will not be required to attempt mediation. In this case, our solicitors can assist you to gain exemption and move your case to court proceedings.
Applying for a Specific Issue Order
If you are unable to agree with your ex-partner on a certain aspect of your child’s upbringing, we can assist you in applying for a Specific Issue Order. This essentially means that the court will make a final decision on the issue that is in dispute and that this decision will be legally binding.
There are various issues that can be settled using a Specific Issue Order, for example, matters regarding a child’s education, residence, religious upbringing, medical treatment or a change of name.
When making any decision and granting a Specific Issue Order, the court will listen to both partners’ viewpoints, collect evidence and ultimately make a decision based on the child’s best interests.
For support to apply for a Specific Issue Order, please contact our experts at Barcan+Kirby.
Assistance where a Specific Issue Order is broken
Once the court has made a Specific Issue Order, the conditions of the order must be abided by. Where a parent has failed to abide by the terms of a Specific Issue Order, there could be various different consequences, including a court-imposed fine or an enforcement order.
If an order has been granted and your ex-partner’s actions have breached the conditions of the Order, we can provide legal assistance.
Where the court has granted a Specific Issue Order that you do not agree with, it is imperative that you do not breach the terms, but instead contact our Specific Issue Order solicitors for advice and support.
Specific Issue Order FAQs
The individual who is looking to obtain a Specific Issue Order will need to complete an application, which is then sent on to the Family Court.
To obtain a Specific Issue Order, it is usually necessary for the parties to attend a Mediation Assessment Meeting. If it is decided that the case is appropriate for mediation, the parents must attempt to resolve the issue out of Court, with the support of a trained mediator.
If the dispute cannot be settled by mediation or is unsuitable for an amicable approach, the parties will need to attend Court.
The Court will review the circumstances of the case and decide whether or not to grant the Specific Issue Order and under what terms. The decision is always made with the child’s best interests in mind.
Yes, the Court can make a Specific Issue Order through its own volition if proceedings are before the Court. For example, this may be appropriate where the Court believes that one of the parents might make a key decision without first having the consent of the other parent.
In certain circumstances, the Court may make a Specific Issue Order where a parent who is responsible for a child is acting improperly and there is reason to believe that the child’s welfare or safety is at stake.
Usually, anyone with parental responsibility for a child will be able to apply for a Specific Issue Order. This may include biological parents, guardians or adoptive parents.
When the family Court is making Specific Issue Order decisions, various factors are considered. The Court will collect evidence, review the circumstances of the case and hear the viewpoints of both parties.
The most important factor that will be considered is the child’s best interests. The Court will always put the child’s welfare first when making any decision.
Useful information about Specific Issue Orders
- If I’m separated, can I take my child on holiday?
- How do I change my child’s name?
- School applications: what happens when parents can’t agree?
Contact our Specific Issue Order solicitors today
At Barcan+Kirby, our highly rated Family Law team support clients across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury. If you need support with a Specific Issue Order application or any other family law matter, we can offer sensitive, clear expertise to get your family to where you need to be.