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Prohibited Steps Orders

In the United Kingdom, a prohibited step order is a legal document that is issued by a court to prevent a person from taking a particular action. This can be used in cases where there is a risk of harm to another person or where there is a concern that a child may be taken out of the country without the consent of both parents. In this article, we will discuss what a prohibited step order is, how it works, and what the consequences are of violating such an order.

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What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

A prohibited step order is a court order that prevents a person from taking a particular action. This could be anything from taking a child out of the country to selling a property. The order is usually issued in cases where there is a risk of harm to another person or where there is a concern that a child may be taken out of the country without the consent of both parents. 

A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is a type of court order issued by a family court in the United Kingdom. It is designed to prohibit a parent or caregiver from taking certain actions regarding a child, without the express permission of the court. PSOs are often used in situations where there is a dispute between the parents or caregivers of a child, and where one party is concerned about the welfare of the child.

What actions can be prohibited by a PSO?

There are many actions that can be prohibited by a PSO, but some of the most common include: Preventing a child from leaving the UK, Preventing a child from being taken out of school, Preventing a child from being taken to a specific location, Preventing a child from being removed from the care of a specific person, Preventing a child from being taken to live with a specific person.

Who can apply for a PSO?

Any person with parental responsibility for a child can apply for a PSO. Any person who has a legitimate interest in preventing another person from taking a particular action can apply for a prohibited step order.

This could include a parent who is concerned that their child may be taken out of the country without their consent, or a person who is concerned that their property may be sold without their permission.

This includes parents, guardians, and anyone with a court order granting them parental responsibility. In some cases, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other family members may also be granted parental responsibility, and they may be able to apply for a PSO. 

How Does a Prohibited Step Order Work?

If a court believes that there is a risk of harm to a person or a child, it may issue a prohibited step order. The order will specify what the person is prohibited from doing and how long the order will last. The person who is subject to the order will be notified of the order and will be required to comply with it.

A prohibited step order is a legally binding directive that prohibits an individual from taking a specific step or action. The order is issued by a court and may include various restrictions and conditions. The person who is subject to the order, known as the respondent, will be served with a copy of the order and will be required to comply with its terms.

How to Apply for a Prohibited Step Order? A Guide for Parents

To apply for a prohibited step order, you will need to fill out an application form and submit it to the court. You will also need to provide evidence to support your application, such as witness statements or medical reports. The court will then review your application and decide whether or not to issue the order.

How to Obtain a Prohibited Steps Order: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re a parent facing concerns about your child’s safety and well-being, obtaining a prohibited steps order may be necessary to prevent the other parent or guardian from taking certain actions. A prohibited steps order is a legally binding document that restricts a person from doing certain things regarding a child, such as removing them from the country or changing their residence without permission. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can obtain a prohibited steps order in the UK:

Step 1: Seek Legal Advice – It’s crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified family law solicitor who can provide you with guidance and represent your interests in court.

Step 2: Gather Evidence – You’ll need to provide evidence to support your case, such as details of the specific actions you want to prevent, reasons why you believe the child may be at risk, and any relevant information about the other parent or guardian’s behavior.

Step 3: Submit an Application to Court – Your solicitor can help you prepare the necessary application forms and submit them to the family court. The court will review your application and may schedule a hearing to consider your request.

Step 4: Attend Court Hearing – If a hearing is scheduled, you’ll need to attend court and present your case to the judge. The other parent or guardian may also be present to contest the order. The judge will consider the evidence presented and make a decision based on the best interests of the child.

Step 5: Obtain the Prohibited Steps Order – If the judge approves your application, a prohibited steps order will be issued. This order will outline the specific actions that are prohibited and the duration of the order.

Step 6: Follow the Order – It’s essential to comply with the terms of the prohibited steps order once it’s issued. Breaking the order can have serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and loss of custody or access rights.

Remember, obtaining a prohibited steps order can be a complex legal process, and it’s crucial to have professional legal assistance to navigate through it effectively. It’s always best to seek advice from a qualified family law solicitor who can provide you with tailored guidance and representation to protect your child’s best interests.

When can a PSO be issued?

A PSO can be issued by a family court in the UK if the court is satisfied that there is a genuine concern about the welfare of the child. The court will consider a range of factors, including the child’s age and maturity, the nature of the dispute between the parties, and any evidence of harm or potential harm to the child.

How Long Does a Prohibited Steps Order Last? Understanding the Duration of the Order.

The duration of a PSO will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. In some cases, a PSO may be issued for a fixed period of time, such as six months or a year. In other cases, a PSO may be issued until the child reaches a certain age, such as 16 or 18. In rare cases, a PSO may be issued for an indefinite period of time.

What happens if a PSO is breached?

Breaching a PSO is a serious matter, and can result in a range of legal consequences. If a PSO is breached, the court may take a number of actions, including: Issuing a warning to the person who breached the order, Imposing a fine, Issuing a community service order, Issuing a custodial sentence. In addition, the court may take further action to ensure that the person complies with the order, such as issuing a warrant for their arrest.

Prohibited Step Order Examples

There are various scenarios in which a prohibited step order may be issued. Some common examples include:

  1. Child Custody: In cases of child custody disputes, a court may issue a prohibited step order to prevent one parent from taking the child out of the country without the consent of the other parent or the court.

  2. Domestic Violence: In situations where there is a risk of domestic violence, a court may issue a prohibited step order to prevent the alleged perpetrator from coming into contact with the victim or entering certain premises.

  3. Property Disputes: In cases where there is a dispute over ownership or possession of a property, a court may issue a prohibited step order to prevent one party from selling, transferring, or disposing of the property without the consent of the other party or the court.

Restrictions in a Prohibited Step Order

A prohibited step order may include a range of restrictions, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some common restrictions that may be included in a PSO include:

  1. Prohibition from Taking a Child out of the Country: In cases involving child custody disputes, a prohibited step order may prohibit one parent from taking the child out of the country without the consent of the other parent or the court.

  2. Prohibition from Contacting a Person: In cases of domestic violence, a prohibited step order may prohibit the alleged perpetrator from contacting or coming into contact with the victim or entering certain premises.

  3. Prohibition from Selling or Disposing of Property: In property disputes, a prohibited step order may prohibit one party from selling, transferring, or disposing of the property without the consent of the other party or the court.

Conclusion

A prohibited steps order is a legal order that can be issued by a court to prevent a parent or guardian from taking specific actions regarding a child’s welfare. In cases involving domestic violence, a prohibited steps order can be used to protect a child from potential harm or danger. The length of time it takes to obtain a prohibited steps order can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, but urgent applications can be made without notice in situations where there is an immediate risk of harm.

Breaking a prohibited steps order can result in serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and the loss of custody or access rights. If you wish to overturn a prohibited steps order, you must apply to the court and demonstrate that there has been a change in circumstances that justifies the order being overturned. The chances of obtaining a prohibited steps order will depend on the specific facts of your case, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice to understand your options and obligations.

A Prohibited Steps Order is a powerful legal tool that can be used to protect the welfare of children in the UK. By preventing parents and caregivers from taking certain actions without court permission, PSOs can help to prevent harm and ensure that children are kept safe. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child and believe that a PSO may be necessary, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified family law solicitor.

  • A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is a court order that prevents a parent from taking certain actions regarding a child, such as removing them from the country or changing their school, in cases of domestic violence.
  • The length of time it takes to obtain a PSO varies depending on the urgency of the situation and the court’s availability, but it can range from a few days to several weeks.
  • The chances of obtaining a PSO depend on the specific circumstances of the case and whether there is evidence of harm to the child.
  • Breaking a PSO is a serious offense that can result in criminal charges and penalties, including imprisonment.
  • To overturn a PSO, a parent must apply to the court to have it discharged or varied and provide evidence to support their case.
  • A PSO can be granted without notice to the other party in emergency situations where there is a risk of harm to the child.
  • An example of a PSO could be a court order preventing a parent from taking their child out of the country without the other parent’s consent.
  • In the UK, an emergency PSO can be obtained quickly in cases of domestic violence or child abduction by contacting family law solicitors or the police.

In conclusion, a prohibited step order is a legal document that is issued by a court to prevent a person from taking a particular action. This can be used in cases where there is a risk of harm to another person or where there is a concern that a child may be taken out of the country without the consent of both parents. Violating a prohibited step order can have serious consequences, including fines or imprisonment. Any person who has a legitimate interest in preventing another person from taking a particular action can apply for a prohibited step order by filling out an application form and submitting it to the court.

C100 application Form

Form C100 application under the children act 1989 for a child arrangements prohibited steps specific issue section 8 order or to vary or discharge. 

How would I find a family court or tribunal details in the UK?

In the UK, you can find details of family courts and tribunals using the gov.uk website. Here are the steps to find a family court or tribunal:

  1. Go to the gov.uk website (https://www.gov.uk/) and search for “Find a court” in the search bar at the top of the page.

  2. Click on the first option that appears, which should be “Find a court or tribunal”.

  3. On the next page, click on “Courts and tribunals”.

  4. From the list of options that appears, click on “Family courts”.

  5. You will be directed to a page where you can search for family courts and tribunals by location. Enter your postcode or town/city in the search bar, and select the distance you are willing to travel.

  6. Click on “Search”, and a list of family courts and tribunals in your area will appear. Click on the one that is most convenient for you to access more information, including the address, contact details, and opening hours.

Please note that our child law solicitors do not provide Legal aid, but we do offer free telephone consultations.

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