Prohibited Steps Orders

In some situations, separated parents can find it tough to cooperate with one another. Each parent often believes that they know what’s best for their child, but this can often create a divide.

Where you wish to stand firm on an aspect of your child’s life, it is possible to get a prohibited steps order to prevent your co-parent from making a decision that you do not agree with.

Our prohibited steps order solicitors at Braddon & Snow understand co-parents often have different priorities in terms of their children’s upbringing. So that we fully understand your needs and required wishes, we will take the time to carefully listen to your concerns and your preferable outcome. Once we know these details, we can provide advice and guidance that is tailored specifically to this.

Our solicitors are child law experts dedicated to assisting parents with protecting their children where there is a concern over welfare. We will attempt to resolve matters using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including private negotiation and mediation. Where court litigation is necessary, we have considerable experience and a strong track record for success.

Our expertise with prohibited steps orders

Our prohibited steps order solicitors are experts and have assisted clients with prohibited steps order matters, including:

  • Private negotiation and mediation
  • Applying for a prohibited steps order
  • Applying for permission to make a Prohibited steps order application
  • Contesting a prohibited steps order

For more information about our services, see our page relating to Children.

Speak to our family law solicitors in Hoddesdon or Broxbourne

For help and advice in respect of prohibited steps order, please feel free to contact our child law solicitors:

Prohibited steps orders FAQs

What is a prohibited steps order?

A prohibited steps order prohibits a person from carrying out a specific activity in relation to the child, and it isn’t always necessarily against a person who has parental responsibility. For example, it could restrain an ex-partner of the child’s parent from making contact. Most usually, the issue is between parents that are separated and have different opinions on the upbringing of their child.

When will a prohibited steps order be granted?

A prohibited steps order will only be granted if the courts deem it absolutely necessary for the child and their welfare. If there is concern that an action carried out by a specific person could affect the child’s life or put them in danger, the courts will create a prohibited steps order.

A prohibited steps order could prevent the following:

  • A parent moving their child to a different nursery or school
  • Contact with another person, e.g. parent’s new partner
  • A parent moving their child to a new area
  • A parent moving their child outside of the UK
  • Changing the child’s surname
  • The child undergoing medical procedures

Who can apply for a prohibited steps order?

Any person who has parental responsibility for a child has the legal right to make a prohibited steps order application. Most often, it is parents that are attempting to co-parent who apply for the order.

In addition to those with parental responsibility, it is possible for individuals without parental responsibility to apply. However, before an application can be submitted, they must obtain permission from the court in order to make a prohibited steps order application.

When can’t you apply for a prohibited steps order?

There are some circumstances where it is not possible for a person to apply for a prohibited steps order, such as if the child is over 16 years old or they are in the care of social services.

How to apply for a prohibited steps order

The courts require that before making an application for a prohibited steps order, co-parents should attempt to amicably resolve a disagreement through the use of ADR methods, such as private negotiation and mediation. However, this can be avoided where it is not suitable, such as an emergency prohibited steps order, where the order needed is urgently.

If ADR methods do not result in a positive outcome that both parties are satisfied with, you can then take the next step, which is applying to the court for a prohibited steps order.

The application to court can be made online, in person at a family court or through a child law solicitor.

Can a prohibited steps order be opposed?

It is possible for a prohibited steps order to be opposed, particularly where there is concern that the order was granted for the wrong reasons. To have the order opposed, you must have evidence of this and appeal to the courts, where they will make a final decision.

If instead, the prohibited order is no longer needed, perhaps because circumstances have changed, then it is possible for the prohibited steps order to be removed or amended, but only if it’s in the best interests of the child and their welfare.

How long does a prohibited steps order last?

The length of a prohibited steps order completely depends on what the order prohibits. For example, if you are prohibiting your co-parent from moving your child to a different school, the order will most possibly last until they reach the school’s leaving age or until they complete their full education, which in England and Wales is legally 18 years of age.

The average prohibited order is expected to last between 6 to 12 months but can be extended if deemed necessary, as can it be amended if circumstances change.

What happens if someone breaches a prohibited steps order?

For there to be a breach of the prohibited steps order, the person being prohibited from carrying out the activity must have received the order and be fully aware of the contents of the prohibited steps order.

If someone disobeys a prohibited steps order, what punishment they receive will depend entirely on the severity of the breach. Most commonly, the punishment would include a fine or even a prison sentence, for example, where a child is removed from the country despite the order prohibiting it, as this could be presumed by the courts as child abduction.

Our prohibited steps orders fees

At Braddon & Snow, we realise that approaching legal advice can be a daunting prospect for many reasons, particularly with concern to finances. For this reason, we always aim to be completely transparent with our fees from the outset and throughout should any additional fees be required.

Where it is possible to do so, we can deal with certain issues on a fixed fee basis, usually where matters are straightforward and do not require additional support. Where we would consider matters as more complex and require a further level of expertise, we will calculate and provide you with a clear quote estimating the expected fees prior to working with you, so you can make a fully informed decision.

On occasion, additional work is occasionally necessary, which will incur further costs. Where this applies to your situation, our solicitors will inform you first before continuing.

See here for more information in concern to our pricing.

Speak to our prohibited steps order solicitors in Hoddesdon & Broxbourne

For a friendly, informal discussion with one of our child law solicitors about how we can help you with your prohibited steps order needs, please get in touch:

For more information about our services, see our Family Law page.

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