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Prohibited Steps Orders

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 21 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Order Parenting Youth Steps Crime Pso

A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children.

We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent.

Can I Take My Child on Holiday?

You can only do this if the court agrees. In order for that to happen, you must appear before a magistrate and prove that you are not likely to leave the country and not come back. It also has to be something that your ex-partner agrees to.

Can a Prohibited Steps Order Be Changed?

The answer to this is yes, but only if all parties are in agreement and can satisfy a magistrate at Family Court. If there have been instances in the past where visitation rights have been exceeded or ignored, the magistrate may feel he or she has no other choice but to rule against any proposed changes to the order. Also, he or she must take into account the effects such changes may have on the child (or children).

What Can I Do If The Other Parent Doesn't Come Back?

There is no easy way to deal with this question – the chances are if they have taken them to a country that has not entered into an agreement with the UK, it may be hard to have your child returned to you. At present there are 45 countries that have entered into an agreement with the UK to help with the recovery of a child in these circumstances.

Does The Prohibited Steps Order Apply Just to Holidays?

No, a PSO also applies to any jurisdiction within the UK as specified by the court at the time of issue. For example, if the court finds that there are grounds to suspect the parent in question may take their child out of the area, then they may specify in the order that they do not do so. Failure to comply with this order is a criminal offence (often charged as kidnapping) and could result in a custodial sentence.

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I have a child's arrangements order in place stating that daughter livers with me her mum and her dad has access 1 week a month until she goes to school due to location of where we both live which is fine but she has a PSO on her dictating she is not to be removed fro England and Wales what I'm wanting to know is how do I go about getting permission to take daughter abroad should it ever happen
Jasper - 21-Jan-18 @ 5:27 PM
Hi I cut contact from my ex partner december because he keeps letting them down. he has not taken me to court even though threatend too. I went to mediation he was contacted by me and mediator and ge refused. Friday he picked my son up from nursery without my permission. I went straight to court for an urgent prohibited steps order and specific steps order. Needed help from police to agree on time to bring him back. I am waiting for hearing on Wednesday. I need to know what judge wants to hear about and what evidence I need to bring with me. I have not said he is a threat and not bad mouthed him in the application am worried will do so to me so don't know if I should show his messages to me from the past when he has been horrible or not. Thanks
H - 20-Jan-18 @ 6:02 PM
Roger - Your Question:
There is a (Scots Law) residence order in place stating that my 3 children (12,10,8 years old) reside with me. I ensure that they also have contact with their mum during most school holiday periods and some weekends. I want to take my kids on holiday to the Switzerland at Easter, but would ensure that the overall amount of contact the kids have with their mum is not reduced as a result. Can their mum stop them going on holiday?

Our Response:
Scottish law dictates that: "Consent of both parents with PRRs is required in one situation. If one parent seeks to remove a child who is habitually resident in Scotland from the United Kingdom, even if only for a short time, the parent must obtain the consent of any other person with PRRs (sections 2(3) and 2(6), Children (Scotland) Act)."
You would need the mother's consent therefore. If there's some reason you think she would disagree, you could try mediation or the courts.
LawAndParents - 15-Jan-18 @ 2:49 PM
There is a (Scots Law) residence order in place stating that my 3 children (12,10,8 years old) reside with me. I ensure that they also have contact with their mum during most school holiday periods and some weekends. I want to take my kids on holiday to the Switzerland at Easter, but would ensure that the overall amount of contact the kids have with their mum is not reduced as a result. Can their mum stop them going on holiday?
Roger - 12-Jan-18 @ 4:58 PM
Can I get a pso in place without my wife knowing?She has threatened to take kids and go during a few in arguments in the past, if it comes to it I would like to have it in my back pocket to produce if needs be
Fitzy - 27-Dec-17 @ 8:46 PM
I have a prohibitive steps order out against my daughters father, he has had no contact with her since the order was taken out 2 years ago, the court ordered the dad to be having no contact as it was damaging to her well being, she is only 3, I would like to have his surname removed from her birth certificate, is this possible to do with out having to get his permission?
Lou - 26-Dec-17 @ 8:40 PM
Andy b - Your Question:
My ex partner took my daughter to southern ireland while I was at work. She is coming back to the UK on the 27th dec 2017 but having agreed to let me see my daughter on there return has now said I cannot see her till an order is in place.This could take months and months. I have parental responsibility but cannot afford a solicitor as I'm on minimum wage. She's got a solicitor with legal aid as she's on benefits. I don't know what to do. There are no orders in place whatsoever at present even to say the child should live with her. Help please.

Our Response:
It might be worth seeking advice from a solicitor - many solicitors offer a first consultation free of charge. An emergency date for a court order is really only likely if there is risk to the child.
LawAndParents - 20-Dec-17 @ 2:07 PM
My ex partner took my daughter to southern ireland while I was at work. She is coming back to the UK on the 27th dec 2017 but having agreed to let me see my daughter on there return has now said I cannot see her till an order is in place.This could take months and months. I have parental responsibility but cannot afford a solicitor as I'm on minimum wage. She's got a solicitor with legal aid as she's on benefits. I don't know what to do. There are no orders in place whatsoever at present even to say the child should live with her. Help please.
Andy b - 19-Dec-17 @ 8:45 PM
Stefan - Your Question:
Hi my ex left me two years ago and took my daughter with her, I get to see her on a weekend but this is all on her terms, if she doesn't want me to see her I don't! Time passes and I got into a relationship and eventually introduced my daughter to my new partner! This made my ex very bitter and jealous! My current partner stays out of the way when it comes to me and my daughter but for some reason my ex has it on her head that my partner wants to pl 'mummy' and threatens me and says I cannot see my daughter unless I break up with her, has she left me in the first place I just feel this is really not fair at all, she chose what she wanted and should let me just get on with my life, she also tells me if I don't she will commit suicide which hurts me very much too because I still love her dearly! Also I would never want any harm coming to my daughters mum. How do I go about getting a prohibited step order just so she cannot threaten me with my daughter again because I feel like I'm constantly living in fear of missing my daughters up bringing! She never has my daughters best interest in mind and only thinks about how she can not get hurt. Please someone help. Thanks

Our Response:
This is the form to complete to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order
LawAndParents - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:28 PM
Hi my ex left me two years ago and took my daughter with her, I get to see her on a weekend but this is all on her terms, if she doesn't want me to see her I don't! Time passes and I got into a relationship and eventually introduced my daughter to my new partner! This made my ex very bitter and jealous! My current partner stays out of the way when it comes to me and my daughter but for some reason my ex has it on her head that my partner wants to pl 'mummy' and threatens me and says I cannot see my daughter unless I break up with her, has she left me in the first place I just feel this is really not fair at all, she chose what she wanted and should let me just get on with my life, she also tells me if I don't she will commit suicide which hurts me very much too because I still love her dearly! Also I would never want any harm coming to my daughters mum. How do I go about getting a prohibited step order just so she cannot threaten me with my daughter again because I feel like I'm constantly living in fear of missing my daughters up bringing! She never has my daughters best interest in mind and only thinks about how she can not get hurt. Please someone help. Thanks
Stefan - 6-Dec-17 @ 12:08 PM
Ny- Your Question:
My ex partner has got a pso against me I have being in and out of court for the last 8 month he is stopping my contact as and when he please around2 month ago my daughter got removed from his care by ss due to demestic violence in the house hold was ment to have contact with her today but somehow he as managed to cancel it can apply at a different court to get a pso against him and get my child home my child as made it very clear to ss and every other person she want to come home I don't no what to do I want her home would the courts allow that if I made a private application tomorrow??

Our Response:
We don't know enough about your circumstances to comment on this unfortunately. The Family Lives Helpline might be worth a try.
LawAndParents - 1-Dec-17 @ 12:16 PM
My ex partner has got a pso against me I have being in and out of court for the last 8 month he is stopping my contact as and when he please around2 month ago my daughter got removed from his care by ss due to demestic violence in the house hold was ment to have contact with her today but somehow he as managed to cancel it can apply at a different court to get a pso against him and get my child home my child as made it very clear to ss and every other person she want to come home I don't no what to do I want her home would the courts allow that if I made a private application tomorrow??
Ny - 29-Nov-17 @ 6:30 PM
Scott - Your Question:
My ex was/is in an affair within which she with her bf :- 1) Shared photos of our kids in various states of undress. 2) Took my son (aged 2) to see him weekly so that my son would learn whos in control and should be respected. 3) Prompted my ex to 'perform' for him on video/pictures while my kids were in the same bed. 4) exchanged video tormenting my 2 year old about 'the policemen coming to get him' (Thats referring to the bf who isnt by the way) and discussing the control and cruelty level of the videos. This was persented to the Social services who were more interested in the couter acusations of drug abuse (false) and that I got my sons into school late a number of times over the year. We are now divorced and my ex has moved straight in with the bf who is constantly pushed upon my children as their new father. Can I apply for a PSO to limit the access he has to my children as he has proven to be a bad influence on my children

Our Response:
If you think your children are at risk, yes it's worth applying for a PSO.
LawAndParents - 29-Nov-17 @ 2:32 PM
My ex was/is in an affair within which she with her bf :- 1) Shared photos of our kids in various states of undress. 2) Took my son (aged 2) to see him weekly so that my son would learn whos in control and should be respected. 3) Prompted my ex to 'perform' for him on video/pictures while my kids were in the same bed. 4) exchanged video tormenting my 2 year old about 'the policemen coming to get him' (Thats referring to the bf who isnt by the way) and discussing the control and cruelty level of the videos.This was persented to the Social services who were more interested in the couter acusations of drug abuse (false) and that I got my sons into school late a number of times over the year.We are now divorced and my ex has moved straight in with the bf who is constantly pushed upon my children as their new father.Can I apply for a PSO to limit the access he has to my children as he has proven to be a bad influence on my children
Scott - 29-Nov-17 @ 2:15 PM
I want to adopt my stepdaughter or have parental responsibility, the birth father has a prohibited steps order against him as he is a flight risk, substance abuser and his partner is regularly committing criminal acts. Her mother is moving in with me as well as her daughter and I have been an active role model for the little girl from 18 months old to her current age 5.The birth father has very little to do with his daughter and has supervised visitation by an entrusted family member on his side of the family when he does so. Can the birth father stop me from applying for adoption or parental responsibilities so I can make sure this little girl grows up with the father role model she deserves? My largest concern if anything untoward was to happen to her mother I want to make sure her daughter is raised with me (which is the mothers wish) and not the birth fathers family.
graham1234 - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:16 PM
@NA. If you're really worried - have you considered applying for a prohibited steps order from the courts? Also, you should be receiving some money towards your child's upkeep, so address this with the father too. If he says he's putting money elsewhere, you can then ask him directly why.
Jilly - 15-Nov-17 @ 2:40 PM
I have a 1 year old and his dad said on a few occasions he wants to take my son to Pakistan for holiday but he doesn't pay anything towards the child so I think he sends money to Pakistan to keep an account over there and has admitted to having an account over there hiself also he said his family doesn't want to see me so I'm worried he won't bring him back
NA - 14-Nov-17 @ 7:16 PM
Carla - Your Question:
Can I have some advice please.My husband walked out at the beginning of the year leaving me with 3 children (2of which are his). He hasn’t maintained a regular contact with them and only ever calls them now and then. I have had threats and nasty messages passed to me from him and members of his family and so I blocked them all from being able to contact me. He is currently on girlfriend number 5 since leaving in January and has only been with her for 3 months (they’ve already split and got back together during the three months) and given his track record of not maintaining a steady relationship I specifically told him that I did not want him introducing our daughters to his partner. He has gone behind my back twice before they split and introduced them to his partner and just today took them to her house even though he knows my feelings on this and agreed he wouldn’t take them to see her again. His partners ex has contacted me and said that she is verbally and physically abusive to the children he has with her and so this really isn’t someone I want around my daughters. I want my ex to have a relationship with our girls but I do not want his new girlfriend to be involved with them or have any contact with them. Can I apply for a prohibited steps order to prevent him taking my daughters to see his girlfriend and what’s the likeliness of it being granted? Thanks x

Our Response:
We can't really say what the courts will decide on this. Often, a PSO preventing an ex from allowing a new partner contact with children will only be granted if the children are at risk.
LawAndParents - 6-Nov-17 @ 12:28 PM
Can I have some advice please. My husband walked out at the beginning of the year leaving me with 3 children (2of which are his). He hasn’t maintained a regular contact with them and only ever calls them now and then. I have had threats and nasty messages passed to me from him and members of his family and so I blocked them all from being able to contact me. He is currently on girlfriend number 5 since leaving in January and has only been with her for 3 months (they’ve already split and got back together during the three months) and given his track record of not maintaining a steady relationship I specifically told him that I did not want him introducing our daughters to his partner. He has gone behind my back twice before they split and introduced them to his partner and just today took them to her house even though he knows my feelings on this and agreed he wouldn’t take them to see her again. His partners ex has contacted me and said that she is verbally and physically abusive to the children he has with her and so this really isn’t someone I want around my daughters. I want my ex to have a relationship with our girls but I do not want his new girlfriend to be involved with them or have any contact with them. Can I apply for a prohibited steps order to prevent him taking my daughters to see his girlfriend and what’s the likeliness of it being granted? Thanks x
Carla - 4-Nov-17 @ 1:41 PM
Hi three, my husband is from Morocco and although our relationship is fine, I worry that one day he could attempt to take our children out of the country and I wouldn’t get them back. Is it possible to apply for a PSO without his knowledge, as a ‘just in case’? I’ve heard stories about parents abducting children and the other parent never seeing them again so I do worry that this could happen
RachelP - 31-Oct-17 @ 6:10 AM
Matt - Your Question:
Hello, please can I have some advice. My ex-partner and I have been separated for 6 years. They live in Solihull and I live in Bristol. I see my daughter every other weekend and collect and take her back to her Mum's. (2 hour round trip). This arrangement has been in place and working well for 3 years, since I relocated to Bristol. Prior to that I lived in the same area as them.My ex has declared that she is moving to Cornwall, which will be at least a 6 hour round trip for all concerned. Naturally I am concerned about the frequency that I will see my daughter and the impact it will have on our relationship. Would a PSO be viable in this situation and would the courts support my view?Many thanks.

Our Response:
You can of course apply for a PSO but we can't really say what a judge would decide. A compromise might be suggested perhaps of meeting half way etc.
LawAndParents - 9-Oct-17 @ 3:53 PM
Hello, please can I have some advice. My ex-partner and I have been separated for 6 years. They live in Solihull and I live in Bristol. I see my daughter every other weekend and collect and take her back to her Mum's. (2 hour round trip). This arrangement has been in place and working well for 3 years, since I relocated to Bristol. Prior to that I lived in the same area as them. My ex has declared that she is moving to Cornwall, which will be at least a 6 hour round trip for all concerned. Naturally I am concerned about the frequency that I will see my daughter and the impact it will have on our relationship. Would a PSO be viable in this situation and would the courts support my view? Many thanks.
Matt - 9-Oct-17 @ 10:01 AM
Debbie - Your Question:
My ex says he is taking out a prohibited steps order to stop me moving in with my partner and taking our 10 year old daughter with me. He moved out 3 years ago, in with his new partner, 16 miles away. I will be moving 82 miles away from where he lives now. He will still have our daughter every other weekend. She wants to move with me. She will be in a better home, a better area & a better school. Can he stop me?!

Our Response:
There is nothing to prevent him applying to the courts. She may have a better life overall, but it might affect her contact/relationship with her father if she has to travel 82 miles to see him (you will have to take her and/or he will have to collect her as well). The courts will always act with the best interests of the child at heart.
LawAndParents - 26-Sep-17 @ 2:24 PM
My ex says he is taking out a prohibited steps order to stop me moving in with my partner and taking our 10 year old daughter with me. He moved out 3 years ago, in with his new partner, 16 miles away. I will be moving 82 miles away from where he lives now. He will still have our daughter every other weekend. She wants to move with me. She will be in a better home, a better area & a better school. Can he stop me?!
Debbie - 25-Sep-17 @ 8:37 AM
i have a prohibated steps order in place and child arrangements order and contact order on my kids dad he recently took them out of school early without my permission where do i stand does he still have rights to do that and also i have a strict contact order in place for their dad its once a fortnight friday straight from school till monday when he drops them off at schoolbecause he took them out of school too early from when school finished i told him i wanted them back sunday in text so i have proof do i have the right to do that im just asking because im taking him back to court cause he breaks the contact order all the time even tho this one is an enforced order and now with him being unreliable when it come to school picks up and also what am i best applying for to stop him taking them out of school early or am i best getting courts to stop him being able to go to their school the whole reason why i have all this in place cause he kidnapped them originally ..thank you in advance and hope you can help me
bj - 18-Sep-17 @ 5:33 PM
yyz - Your Question:
Hi my husband has recently left our family home ,there are no signs he will come back however his sister has confessed he is missing his family home in southern Ireland and wants to return ,he won't leave the children in England I'm worried he is going to take them on the ferry to live in ireland ,What should I do ?

Our Response:
If you genuinely feel he may do this, you could apply to the courts for a prohibitive steps order.
LawAndParents - 10-Aug-17 @ 2:34 PM
Hi my husband has recently left our family home ,there are no signs he will come back however his sister has confessed he is missing his family home in southern Ireland and wants to return ,he won't leave the children in England I'm worried he is going to take them on the ferry to live in ireland ,What should i do ?
yyz - 2-Aug-17 @ 10:21 PM
Good Morning Dear, Please I really need an urgent advice, I came here 2013 with my wife and children for holiday, after some few weeks I left them and travelled to Italy for a business trip, I returned back after 10 days for we to return back to Africa but I didn't saw her again, even though we spoke a day before I came back to UK. However, 8 weeks later she called and told me that she had seek for an asylum because she doesn't want my mother to take our daughter to under go FGM.Later she told me where they are and I met them there and tried to let her know that my business is at risk if I do not go back to Africa, she then promised me that after she had a baby that she was pregnant to that we would go back home. However, after she had the baby on June 2014 she changed her mind and ran to the street when I told her that it's time for we to go back home. Apparently she was crying on the street and I don't know who called police and told them that I was beating my wife which I didn't beat her I was only telling her for we to go home. When the police came they took me to police station, subsequently they allowed me to go and issued me No Further Action because they have investigated and found out that I never beat her. After some days Social Service was involved and they came and took my wife to got PSO and NMO order from court even though I wasn't the one who wanted my children to under go fgm but they put it against my name. Home Office and appeal court have rejected application for asylum and my wife is afraid the danger we would face if we were to returned home because I am now a Biafra activist, and she told our senior daughter which is 8 and would be 9 by October this year, she told her the danger she would face if we were to returned home because of the fgm. However, my daughter told social worker that she's scared of going back to Africa because of the fgm, subsequently the social worker invited my wife and told her that she is torturing our daughter emotionallemotionally and why did she told her about the fgm, and she would consider our children in protection order. 1. Please has my wife done anything wrong for telling our daughter what is going on that Home Office wants to return her back home where she and her other sister would face danger? However, I told her that my wife has not done anything wrong for making our daughter to be aware of what is going because she keep on asking us why aren't we working or buy car because she's aware that we had cars and lived happily back home. In addition, my wife got tired of hiding it from her and made her known of the problem we are facing here, subsequently social worker is using it against my wife. 2. I want to challenge and cancel the PSO and NMO because it's against me and I'm not the one who wanted my daughter to under go fgm. Basically it was my mother back home who wanted her because she believed is our culture and tradition, though I haven't go knowledge of fgm no
BlessedBiafra - 4-Jul-17 @ 10:26 AM
Laura - Your Question:
Hi,My child's father has decided to move away from the town we live in. My daughter is 7 and goes to school 5 minutes walk away from both our houses. Where he is planning to move to means it will be at least 30 minutes drive in good traffic (high traffic is expected most days, so realistically longer). He has her 2/3 nights/mornings per week and due to working full time she attends breakfast club at 8am before starting school at 8.45am. My question is because of her having to be up a lot earlier in order to get to school is this something I can stop?? I don't think it's fair on her to be up so early on certain days just because he has decided to move away

Our Response:
It's an extra 25 to 30 minutes above her current journey to school. We don't think that's enough reason for a change in her routine to different days with her father,but you could ask the courts decide if you're concerned.
LawAndParents - 3-Jul-17 @ 11:12 AM
Hi, My child's father has decided to move away from the town we live in. My daughter is 7 and goes to school 5 minutes walk away from both our houses. Where he is planning to move to means it will be at least 30 minutes drive in good traffic (high traffic is expected most days, so realistically longer). He has her 2/3 nights/mornings per week and due to working full time she attends breakfast club at 8am before starting school at 8.45am. My question is because of her having to be up a lot earlier in order to get to school is this something I can stop?? I don't think it's fair on her to be up so early on certain days just because he has decided to move away
Laura - 30-Jun-17 @ 10:42 PM
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