What’s it for? Preventing a certain type of action, such as preventing a parent from taking their child out of their home or country.
A prohibited steps order may be made against anyone, regardless of whether they have parental responsibility for a child. An order may also be made against someone who is not a part of the proceedings. This order is designed to combat a specific issue, such as preventing a parent from taking a child out of the country or preventing the removal of a child from their home. In any case where the welfare of any child is under question the court must be satisfied that making an order is better for the child than making no order at all.
Anyone who is named in a child arrangements order as a person with whom the child is to live may apply for a prohibited steps order without requiring the court’s permission to do so. Parents, guardians, step-parents with parental responsibility can also apply for a prohibited steps order without requiring the court’s permission.
An order can be specified for a specific length of time or can last until the child reaches 16 years of age. In some cases this can be extended to 18 years of age.
Before applying to the court for a prohibited steps order, there are certain requirements that have to me met in some cases. You must attend a family mediation and assessment meeting (MIAM). This is a meeting, held by a trained mediator, who will assess whether mediation is a suitable course of action in the circumstances. This ultimately reduces the amount of prohibited steps orders granted unnecessarily and reduces the burden on the courts in the cases where mediation is a suitable solution.
Need more information on serving a prohibited steps order? Contact us.
Please note: The above is not meant to constitute legal advice. The law changes regularly and as such we recommend speaking to a legal professional for clarification.