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.
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.
my daughter and her husband are divorced nisi.....she has to move o ut of the renad accommodation as the land lord wants to sell the house....currently the house is located in shropshire...she has a palce at university in south wales and has located a house for herself and the 3 chikdren (aged 3 7 and 8),,,in south wales she has her family and friends she has grown up with and stayed in touch to give her a support network,,,,the ex husband has applied for PSO...can he prevent her from moving?
bazz - 9-Apr-13 @ 6:54 PM
Can I apply for a prohibition steps order to prevent my x husband from taking the children to specific relatives houses and having contact with certain members of his extended family?
His Mum and his brother are both verbally abusive and his brother has violent crimminal convictions and involved with various drug related offences.
The children have never had contact with the brother and his mother will only have contact with the children during the periods of seperation that I and my x husband had during our previous relationship.
Chrissi - 1-Dec-12 @ 3:12 PM
Dear LawandParents,May I please get your expert help on the International Travel ban?My wife is threatening to get an International Travel Ban (ITB) on my two children aged 3 and 1 years.As we purchased flights to South Africa in March 2012 to visit granddad and grandma this year December 2012.We are not seeing eye to eye and my wife has told me: I am putting an ITB on the kids so that I cannot take them out the country.I have no injunctions, criminal records or any misdemeanours against my name.My wife has announced she is out the closet and hence we are no longer a family.I'm not a wealthy man, these flights are paid for and holiday has been approved by my employer, my wife says I must take the kids after Christmas, as she would like the kids this Christmas.My employer and the airline are not willing to compromise.May my wife apply for this, if yes, my I challenge it before the deadline of our travel (24th December)?Due to the hefty price tag of the Christmas holiday, I offered my wife the kids for Christmas season 2013 and 2014, she is saying: not interested. Her fear is that I will not bring the kids back. I am willing to sign a waiver to promise I will return the kids in January 2013.What may I do, please can you assist ASAP?
Al - 8-Oct-12 @ 7:11 PM
My step son (who is nine) sees his dad once a week on Sunday's from 10 till 5.30 agreed through court, this has been in place for about 5 years and works well.About 2 years ago we let his dad collect him from school 2 times each week the. It went to 3 then 5 but after a while his behaviour at school went down hill so we reduced it back to 2 then it got worse so we left it at Sunday's only, he started to do well at school but his dad keeps telling him that he will be picking him up from school again soon ( not to our knowledge) and also that his mam is going to court which again we know nothing about.To give you a back ground on his dad would take all night his criminal recorded alone would take hours, so my question is, is on day a week enough or could he apply for more through court????
Markrobinson - 25-Sep-12 @ 7:20 PM
hey me and my partner are abit on rought terms i live in cornwall with her my child and her child from another partnership who i have brought up for the lastand a half years and hes only 3. she wantt to try and move away to milton kynes and take both the children i know i cant stop her from taken hers but can i stop her from taking my child and whats the best thing to do?
andymann - 7-Aug-12 @ 8:39 PM
Can my ex-husband stopmy parents taking our children out for days.?
simsim - 2-Aug-12 @ 5:28 PM
my daughter is in the process of getting a divorce, she wants to move her child to a school nearer to where she works. Can she do this without permission from her ex partner
shell - 14-Jul-12 @ 9:58 PM
In May 2010 my ex-wife was allowed to put a prohibited steps order in place stopping me from seeing my daughter until further notice of the order due to an unrelated incident,(i.e. an alleged section 2 Harassment of my ex-girlfriend). This was brought about by the Police advising my ex-wife that she should take out a prohibited steps order stopping me from seeing my daughter as it could be deemed I was not a fit parent and our daughter could be at risk from me. This was absolute nonsense and total fabrication and designed merely to hit me hard and punish me,( as backed by a solicitor I sort advice from at the time the order was initially put in place). In August last year I was granted supervised access back to my daughter,seeing her only for two hours once a fortnight until further review of the order. This was supervised by trusted friends who lived fairly close to the former matrimonial home where my ex-wife still resides with my daughter.With further reviews at the family court my mother has taken over the supervision duties and currently supervised access is still once a fortnight but the duration has gone up from 10am until 6pm. We are next in court for a review on Friday 29th June 2012. I have a wonderful bound with my 7 year old daughter as I have always since she was born,indeed I am no risk to anybody least of all my own 'flesh and blood'. Clearly this matter has gone on now for over two years and born out of lies and embellishment of facts by the Police and the greedy,obnoxious solicitor performing a parasitic function to my ex-wife whom she is representing. I have been representing myself and just want to see a return to normal access arrangements as they were over two years ago,i.e. for the Prohibited steps order to be lifted entirely. Can you advise me how long a prohibited steps order can be put in force for,I had heard form someone at the Community Legal Advice centre that such an order can only be in place for a year without further application for it to be extended. As far as I am aware no further application for it's extension was ever made. Can you please advise me of the duration that a Prohibited Steps Order can be put in place without further application to the court?
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
slaz - 21-Jun-12 @ 3:53 PM
To muddle, firstly your friend must contact the solicitor that represented her in the hearing for the prohibited steps order, they will then arrange for an emergency hearing or a judge in chambers, (a judge just does what is required of him/her and no one needs to actually go to court), the judge will then make an order to execute a warrant of arrest for breaching a court order, that is when the police will then become involved and subsequently go and arrest the ex partner for the breach of order and your friend will then have the boy returned to her and the ex tried/sentenced etc for the breach. However it seems strange that the courts gave your friend the paperwork to serve on her ex herself??? This is usually done by an officer appointed by the court such as a bailiff so as there is proof that the papers were served to the intended recipient etc and there can be no doubt that they were fully aware of the case and subsequent order so proving that your friend has served the papers/informed her ex may be a difficult thing, in future cases tell her to always ask for them to be served by the court bailiff. Best wishes,Hope all goes well.
jodz0011 - 11-May-12 @ 3:24 PM
one of my friends let her ex partner have her son for the weekend and he has refused to bring him back home. She has been to the courts and has got a Prohibited Steps order stating he must return her son immediately. She has gone to his dwelling served the order to him , he still wont give her son back, she has informed the police they say there is nothing they can do! Why is this happening and what should she do? she is besifr herself with worry.
muddle - 9-May-12 @ 1:12 AM
there is a prohibtion order apply to my son . does it mean i can not go holiday with my son at all/? how about my parents live abroad . how i can go there to see my parents?