Prohibited Steps Orders

What is a Prohibited Steps Order

A parent can make an Application to the Court known as Prohibited Steps to prevent the other parent who has Parental Responsibility taking action.

This might be:

  • to prevent the child associating with someone who has an adverse influence on them
  • to prevent medical treatment
  • to prevent the child being permanently removed from the country

So these Orders can restrict Parental Responsibility. If you have parental responsibility you generally have the right to independently take decisions about matters such as schooling, medical treatment, and religion. A Prohibited Steps Order can remove your ight to make such decisions about your child’s life.
If you are worried your ex-partner may seek to unlawfully take your children abroad, you should ask for the children’s Passports to be seized when you make your Application for a Prohibited Steps Order.

Who can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order?

Any parent, guardian or holder of a Residence Order in relation to the children can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order.

Are there any situations were a Prohibited Steps Order wouldn’t be granted

There is one restriction – the Court cannot make a Prohibited Steps Order where a Residence or Contact Order could just as easily address the issues that prompted the Application.
You therefore need advice as to whether you should apply for a Residence Order or a Contact Order restricting the type of Contact to Indirect Contact.

Prohibited Steps Orders are only meant to restrict the exercise of Parental Responsibility,

relating to issues such as

  • medical matters
  • education
  • parents taking the children abroad
  • religious matters etc

Whether your Application succeeds will depend on the circumstances presented to the Court and what the Court considers to be in the children’s best interests.