Prohibited Steps Order

A common question faced by many people is what is prohibited steps order. A prohibited steps order is an order stopping someone with parental responsibility in carrying out their parental responsibility rights in relation to the terms set out in the order. Effectively a prohibited steps order prevents a parent from doing something which is set out in the order without the courts permission. The order tells a parent or someone with parental responsibility what they cannot do.

Article Contents

What is a prohibited septs order used for?

Many people often question what is a prohibited steps order UK used for? A prohibited steps order can be used to prevent a parent from changing a child’s name without permission, preventing a child to be removed from a parents care, preventing a child from being removed from a school or from preventing a child being taken out of the country. A Prohibited Steps Order may be made in the course of proceedings concerning the child under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 or as an independent application to the family court.

Who can apply for a prohibited steps order?

A prohibited steps order application can be made by anyone with parental responsibility. This can be either a parent, guardian, special guardian or anyone who has obtained a residence order from the family court. If someone who does not have parental responsibility over a child wants to apply for a prohibited steps order they must first apply to the court for permission to make an application and can only do so once the court has given this permission.

Applying for a prohibited steps order

An application for a prohibited steps order must be made to the family court by completing a form C100. Our child law specialists have assisted many people in successfully obtaining a prohibited steps order and can assist you to.

Often prohibited steps orders are emergency orders and are made without notice to the other party and therefore the respondent will not be in attendance at the initial court hearing unless they have received notice of the application. In such circumstances the court needs to be satisfied by the party making an application for a prohibited steps order that there is a need for an emergency hearing without notice as this would result in a possible important change in the child’s life and one that affects the child’s welfare.

As with most child applications the party applying to the court must show that they have attempted mediation unless an exemption applies. Once an application has been issued with the court the court will then usually instruct a CAFCASS advisor to meet with the parties to see whether an agreement can be reached between the parties. Should an agreement not be reached the court will then direct CAFCASS to prepare a report which the court will use based on their investigations. The family court will then list the matter for a hearing in which the concerns of the parties along with the CAFCASS report will be considered before reaching a decision as to whether a prohibited steps order should be granted.

What does the court consider when making prohibited steps orders?

When considering a prohibited steps order, the courts will look at many things before making this order. The most important consideration with all child matters is the welfare and interest of the child which is the overriding objective. The courts will therefore consider whether it is in the best interests of the child for a prohibited steps order to be granted. 

The court will also take into account the wishes of the parent who has day to day custody of the child and consider why the parent making the application for a prohibited steps order wants to prevent the parent with the custody carrying out a certain element of their parental responsibility rights.

Our child law specialists have assisted many people with both obtaining a prohibited steps order and challenging a prohibited steps order against them. The courts will not grant an order for prohibited steps if an outcome the applicant is trying to achieve can be reached by another type of order. I.e. if a parent is making an application for a prohibited steps order to prevent the other parent having contact with the child. The courts may not make a prohibited steps order in such circumstances given that this matter could be decided by a child residence order or a contact order which would determine the issue of contact.

At Kabir Family Law our child lawyers provide an initial consultation in which they will listen to your concerns. From the outset our specialists will provide you advise on the prospects of obtaining a prohibited steps order and confirm whether you are likely to succeed in obtaining such an order or whether another type of child application should be considered.

How long does a prohibited steps order last?

Many people want to know how long does a prohibited steps order last. A prohibited steps order will usually last for a specified period of time which the court orders i.e 6 months or 12 months. However, the order can also last until a certain even occurs for example a child may not be taken out of the school they are attending until they complete their education.

A prohibited steps order can not last longer than the child attains the age of 16 unless there are special circumstances in which case the prohibited steps order may last until the child attains the age of 18.

How much does a prohibited steps order cost?

Many people often query the prohibited steps order cost. When submitting your application to the court there will be a Court fee to pay in order for your application to be issued and considered. The prohibited steps order cost is currently £215.00 although you may want to seek advice from our child lawyers about whether you qualify for a free.

Can a prohibited steps order UK be changed? 

Our family lawyers understand that circumstances of parents and individuals may change. In such circumstances it is possible to request for a prohibited steps order to be changed. At Kabir family law we can assist in reviewing existing prohibited steps orders and assist you in reaching an agreement to change the terms of the prohibited steps order. If an agreement can be reached with the parties, then a request can be made to change the prohibited steps order UK.

The courts will consider the child’s welfare and interests before making a decision on changing a current prohibited steps order. A prohibited steps order UK can be changed by the court unless changing the order will affect the child negatively.

Is a prohibited steps order the same as a specific issue order? 

The effects of a prohibited steps order and a specific issue order are different. A prohibited steps order is made to prevent a person with parental responsibility to carry out certain aspects of their parental responsibility i.e. taking a child out of school or the country. Whereas a specific issue order is made by the court to approve a certain issue.  

Can the courts order a prohibited steps order against the wishes of a child? 

The courts will take into consideration of a child who is competent and capable of making choices based on their welfare and in such instances the courts may not award a prohibited steps order. However where the child’s welfare is likely to be affected and the child needs to be protected then the wishes of a child may not necessarily be taken into account by the courts.

Arrange a consultation with our family law specialists today

Our team of family lawyers in York, London, Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle and Northampton are always on hand to help with your enquiries. Contact us on 0330 094 5880 to discuss the possibility of obtaining a prohibited steps order or to challenge an application for a prohibited steps order.

We are proud to offer assistance around the clock, and did you know we can also provide our consultations face to face, over the telephone or on skype. So wherever you are located either nationally or abroad you can contact us today to obtain advise and assistance on your family law matter.