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Prohibited Steps Orders

The field of family law can seem incredibly complicated due to complex terminology that isn’t always easily understood by those who aren’t legal professionals. One of those terms is a prohibited steps order.

A prohibited steps order can only be made in relation to an aspect of parental responsibility. It is an order in the form of an injunction to prevent something from happening.

When dealing with matters of family law, it’s important that you take all the necessary steps to understand the processes. Therefore, Affordable Justice is dedicated to providing legal advice, assistance, and representation to women who need it. 

What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

A prohibited steps order (PSO) is concerned with a single specific issue and imposes a restriction, for example, on changing a child’s surname, removing a child from the UK (where there is no child arrangements order in force) or in connection with the medical treatment of a child.

How to Get a Prohibited Steps Order in the UK

In order to apply, you are required to submit a C100 application form to the court.  A referral to mediation first may be necessary; however, this does not apply to situations where domestic violence has occurred in or in urgent situations.  A Court Hearing will be listed to consider the application which all parents must attend unless there are exceptional circumstances and strong evidence that means an urgent Hearing without notice being given to the other parent is necessary.  The Court may make an interim Order and then invite the other parent to attend a further Hearing to discuss whether this then stays in place.

How Long Does a Prohibited Steps Order Last?

Typically speaking, a prohibited steps order lasts until the child reaches 16 years of age; however, this is case-dependent. In some instances, the court will set a different period of time or this may be replaced by a Child Arrangements Order.

Can a Prohibited Steps Order be Enforced?

There are provisions to assist in enforcing orders where, for example, a person refuses to handover a child. The court can, in appropriate cases, make an order authorising an officer of the court to take charge of a child to deliver them to the person concerned. There are also powers to order disclosure of a child’s whereabouts. Where there are concerns that a child may be removed from the UK, an all ports warning can be made. The court can also order the surrender of a passport relating to a child.

Depending upon the nature of the order, where an order has been breached an application may be made for committal to prison for contempt of court. 

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