August 31st, 2018
Whilst many parents are able to agree on the arrangements for their children between them, other issues can often arise which many parents are unable to agree on.
It may be that you don’t want the other parent to expose your child to a specific person. Or, you have concerns about your children’s other parent taking them overseas. If you cannot reach an agreement on an issue like this, it may be worth considering your options and applying for a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO).
What is a Prohibited Steps Order?
A PSO is an order “that no step which could be taken by a parent in meeting his parental responsibility for a child, and which is of a kind specified in the order, shall be taken by any person without the consent of the court”.
Essentially, a PSO prevents someone from doing something they would otherwise be able to do by virtue of by having parental responsibility of the children. An application for a PSO can be made within existing proceedings, as a free-standing application, without notice and the court can make an order on its own motion. Without notice, applications are specifically for circumstances where there would be a risk to the children if the other parent were to have prior notice of the application being made.
When will the court make a Prohibited Steps Order?
A PSO can be made under Section 8, Children Act 1989. The Court will apply the usual considerations under that act. The children’s welfare is paramount, any delay in deciding the arrangements for a child is considered to be prejudicial to the child’s welfare. The court must be satisfied that making an order is better for the child than not making an order.
Before an application is made for a PSO (providing there is no urgency), the parent making the application must attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This is to encourage parents to try to reach an agreement without the courts involvement.
The restrictions on making PSO are as follows: -
The court will also need to consider the duration of a PSO. It may be for a specified time period, for example 12 months. It could also be until a certain event occurs, for example until the child finishes a certain school. The duration will be considered on a case by case basis and the court will continue to refer back to the considerations under the Children Act 1989.
If you are in dispute with your children’s other parent about the arrangements for your children then please do give one of our solicitors a call on 01908 262680 to discuss the possibility of a PSO further.
Having obtained her A Levels from the Royal Latin School in Buckingham, Rebecca Stewart went on to obtain a Legal Secretary Diploma through Pitmans Training and immediately following qualification secured a role at Hawkins Family Law. Following that she discovered her true ambition lay in becoming a Legal Executive specialising in Family Law.In 2012 Rebecca enrolled at Cilex Law School and by 2015 had completed all her level 3 exams, achieving distinctions in 3 of these modules, and is now an Associate Member of Cilex. Rebecca is now working towards her level 6 qualifications and is now able to act as a trainee Legal Executive under the supervision of the Directors of Hawkins Family Law.
Hawkins Family Law fields 'a very professional team that delivers a high-class service and has strength-in-depth from senior to junior level'. Managing director and team head Jo Hawkins provides 'clear and accurate advice and moral support through often testing times for her clients; she focuses on deriving the best long-term outcome for her client and other parties'. The practice has particular strength financial matters, including divorce and ToLATA proceedings. Other key figures include Loraine Davenport, who has strong collaborative law expertise and handles complex children cases and high-net-worth ancillary relief matters; Annabel Hayward, who focuses on complex financial provision and co-habitation matters; and Stacey St Clair.
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What the team is known for
Boutique family law firm that punches above its weight in terms of high-value and complex matrimonial finance instructions relating to business assets, pensions and substantial property portfolios, including assisting with the handling of assets abroad. Also represents clients in the negotiation of wealth protection agreements and private law childcare arrangements. Fields a team trained in collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution.
An impressed client says: "The team's personal service and individual care is a great asset,"adding that the lawyers are "always available to assist and understand the occasional need for immediate advice and guidance, providing a very reassuring service."
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