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Prohibited Steps Orders

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 14 Nov 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
@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
chrissie - Your Question:
Hi wonder if you can give me some advice, I am the maternal grandmother to my 14 years old grand daughter.Back in 2011/2012 I was granted a residency order for her to live with me. In November 2012 we went back to court as my grand daughter wanted to go back and live with her mother and siblings. The Judge did a Contact Residence and Prhibitation order in which grand daughter went back to live with her mother, and I granted her to stop over night every third weekend.Sadly due to family dynamics my daughter has forbidden me to have contact with my grand daughter, social services are involved due to home disputes and agruments, when I asked social services when I could see my grandaughter they said as her mother has residency and PR and she doesnt want me to have any contact with her I am not allowed to. I explained about the Court Order and was asked to send them a copy which I have done, when I spoke to them today they told me that the Court Order is out of date so they will be ignoring it. Do court orders go out of date? and can they deny me access to my grand daughter who by the way wants to see me.

Our Response:
Contact/Residence orders generally expire only when a child is 18. Check your copy of the order and see whether it has an expiry date. If it hasn't appeal it.
LawAndParents - 11-May-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hi wonder if you can give me some advice, i am the maternal grandmother to my 14 years old grand daughter. Back in 2011/2012 i was granted a residency order for her to live with me.In November 2012 we went back to court as my grand daughter wanted to go back and live with her mother and siblings.The Judge did a Contact Residence and Prhibitation order in which grand daughter went back to live with her mother, and i granted her to stop over night every third weekend. Sadly due to family dynamics my daughter has forbidden me to have contact with my grand daughter, social services are involved due to home disputes and agruments, when i asked social services when i could see my grandaughter they said as her mother has residency and PR and she doesnt want me to have any contact with her i am not allowed to.I explained about the Court Order and was asked to send them a copy which i have done, when i spoke to them today they told me that the Court Order is out of date so they will be ignoring it. Do court orders go out of date?and can they deny me access to my grand daughterwho by the way wants to see me.
chrissie - 10-May-17 @ 2:48 PM
Hi, I was just wondering. I have a prohibited steps order on my son against his father removing him from mine or the schools care without my concent. On the order it says at the end of the sentence 'upon further order' my sons father never went back to court to gain contact with our son and no other orders were made, sons father also has not made any other attemptd at contact vis court or mediation. Does this mean my prohibited steps order is still valid???? I ask as my son starts school soon and i have to provide copys of this to the school. Plus I would really feel more comfortable knowing. Thank you for reading and hopefully hear back. Thank you again.
Emma - 19-Apr-17 @ 9:06 PM
Hello My Ex hit my daughter 11 year old and threw her out of the house - cut a long story short there is no orders in place at the min and we both have PR. my daughter is saying she wants to live with me and SS have no problems with this.For the last 4 weeks we have been traveling 100 miles a day to take her to and collect her from school.We have now made an application to change schools to a local school to me.My ex will not agree to the transfer and has applied for a PHO.... 2 questions. 1 - Will I get paperwork and notification of the application to allow me to give my reasons for transferring the school and 2 - Given that she kicked her out, hit her and my daughter is saying she wont return to the care of her mam how likely is it that the application would be successful.Are childrens wishes taken into consideration?
gjo348 - 24-Mar-17 @ 10:25 AM
Matt - Your Question:
I have raised concerns about the mother of my daughter with social services on a number of times, her children are on a protection plan. last Thursday mum left my 2 year old in the house on her own for 4 hours. police were called and mum was arrested on child neglect charges. I know have my daughter living with me and have letters from social services stating they are happy for my daughter to remain in my care. need advice if there is anything I can do to stop mum from trying to take her back. and if I do decide to let mum see her I'm scared incase she don't bring her back. any advice would be much appreciated

Our Response:
Can you apply for a residency order via the courts, with contact conditions imposed on the mother? Social services should be able to advise you as to what is the best approach as they know the parties involved.
LawAndParents - 9-Mar-17 @ 12:58 PM
I have raised concerns about the mother of my daughter with social services on a number of times, her children are on a protection plan.. last Thursday mum left my 2 year old in the house on her own for 4 hours.. police were called and mum was arrested on child neglect charges.. I know have my daughter living with me and have letters from social services stating they are happy for my daughter to remain in my care.. need advice if there is anything I can do to stop mum from trying to take her back.. and if I do decide to let mum see her I'm scared incase she don't bring her back.. any advice would be much appreciated
Matt - 8-Mar-17 @ 10:39 AM
I am wounderi g if I. An get helpto vet my son seeing is dad at a contact centre thanks x
Zo - 7-Mar-17 @ 8:23 PM
Hi I have 3 kids with my ex she complaint to the social services that I was threatened her and abused her infront of her kids and shouted at kids. The social services took them away please help what will be the outcome of this problem I face can I still get contact allowed to see my kids via court or the court only take side with her please help me regarding this no police been involved plz help or any idea who experience the same problem. Thaks
Samim - 6-Mar-17 @ 9:43 PM
There is a court order in place where my ex and I have shared care of our children. My ex has now gone for residency and another order was placed on 1st March but in this it states that the children are living with me and a court date of 28th March is arranged for the next steps. Can you tell me if this last order where it states that the children live with me means that the shared care order is no longer in place please?
Alicia - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:02 AM
Hi can I get a prohibited steps order taken out on partners new girlfriend to stop her seeing our child until the divorce is finalised.
Cjarvis1981 - 23-Feb-17 @ 1:04 PM
I look after my teenage grandson under a childrens arrangement order and social services have a supervision order in place. This was put in place because of my daughter's ill health but now she is much better I believe he should return home. How do we go about revoking the order?
Supernan - 20-Feb-17 @ 10:50 AM
Sorry that should say she's had no contact since 31st July 2014
BUGGS - 17-Feb-17 @ 1:44 PM
I have residency of my step children (12,14, 15)and have done since 2007 (residency order granted 2008). They're Dad who they also reside with its in HM Forces. Their biological mother had had no contact since 31st July.No letters, calls or visits.We approached her to ask for her permission to leave the UK with the children for a period of 2 years got an overseas posting my husband has been offered.She has now made an application to the courts for a PSO as well as a contact order.The reason we to why she does not see the children is she is unable to facilitate contact.She has since 2007 flitted in and out of their lives when she sees fit.CAFCASS recognised in 2008 that to return them to her care was detrimental to their wellbeing.She had never requested them back.We've moved on as a family and have 2 daughters (9 and 3). Her suggestion is my husband goes overseas by himself and I remain in the UK with all 5 children.We do not think this is acceptable given the fact she has not seen the children for so long or spoken to them.Is there any advice?Thank you.
BUGGS - 17-Feb-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hi I've separated from my obusive ex and now all the time I have to struggle with kid visitations. On every occasion when kids are seeing dad they coming back really stressed. Dad is very controling and manipulative person and he does it to my 9year old. He made spy out of her what she admitted just now. Before he was giving her instruction how to make my life hell and how to get him back home. I took non-molestation order against him however it hasn't stopped him from mentally obusing me and now my children. Time after time I tried to present situations to Social Services but they are all about promoting kids contact with father. They do not care that kids a specialy mine 9 years old daughter are getting brainwashed and being blackmailed by their dad as it is kids word against his. How people can give so much credits to horrible person like my ex. Social Services have been forcing me to alow him to see kids and on every of his demand.What can I do with him and with Social Services as I am really tired. And I want to save my kids all that hurting.
Adzia - 16-Feb-17 @ 8:50 AM
Concerned Dad - Your Question:
Hi. My wife and I are not getting along anymore and she has expressed her intention to take the two youngest of our four children away from the area and our family home. She simply wants to up-sticks-and-go all the way to an area close to Cambridge near her mother but we live in Durham, County Durham. I am concerned because she has nothing arranged, no school places, if there are any, no job to earn money nor a secure home. She plans on moving into her mother's 2 bed flat where both her parents, 1 brother and 1 sister already reside, making the place incredibly overcrowded. This, I feel, would not be good for our 5 and 8 year olds. They would be suddenly taken away from all that they know and cherish, school friends, local friends and of course their older brother, sister and myself. I feel it would cause my 5 year old to regress as she has a little separation anxiety when she is at school and the school has included her in a group therapy class to address this. I am concerned about my children's education and anxiety which moving away would make worse. Please help what can I do?

Our Response:
You could try mediation but if that doesn't work, you might want to consider a court order...either a Prohibited Steps Order, to prevent her moving with the children or a Child Arrangements Order for full residency. The courts will take a look at all the circumstances and make their decision based only on the best interests of the children.
LawAndParents - 10-Feb-17 @ 12:57 PM
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