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Prohibited Steps Orders

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 25 Sep 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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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
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 classto address this. I am concerned about my children's education and anxiety which moving away would make worse. Please help what can I do?
Concerned Dad - 8-Feb-17 @ 4:55 PM
Iamme - Your Question:
Hi! I need advise please. My ex partner has informed me that he has applied for Prohibited steps order to stop my daughter from going on holiday abroad. He told me this about 2 weeks ago. He said he has done it as an urgent matter. Until now I haven't received any letter or order yet. I don't know if its a bluff or what. He knows about the holiday and I also sent him a copy of the plane tickets (return). But still he is not giving permission. He has parental responsiblity as he is on my daughter's birth certificate. Anyway, he was aware that we were planning to go on holiday and he even offered to pay for our plane tickets, but I told him he only has to pay for our daughter. Because I told him no when he asked me back, he started being spiteful and says that my daughter is coming on holiday with me. My little girl has been looking forward to see her family abroad but because of him trying to brainwash her saying that I'm leaving her abroad, I can see that she is worried and is scared of coming with me. What do I do now? TIA

Our Response:
You do need permission from anyone else with parental responsibility before you take your child abroad unless you have child arrangement order in place that says the child must live with you. If you can't agree on this, you will have to see what the court says when/if your ex applies for the PSO. You will be given the opportunity to give your present your own views.
LawAndParents - 6-Feb-17 @ 12:46 PM
Hi! I need advise please. My ex partner has informed me that he has applied for Prohibited steps order to stop my daughter from going on holiday abroad. He told me this about 2 weeks ago. He said he has done it as an urgent matter. Until now I haven't received any letter or order yet. I don't know if its a bluff or what. He knows about the holiday and I also sent him a copy of the plane tickets (return). But still he is not giving permission. He has parental responsiblity as he is on my daughter's birth certificate. Anyway, he was aware that we were planning to go on holiday and he even offered to pay for our plane tickets, but I told him he only has to pay for our daughter. Because I told him no when he asked me back, he started being spiteful and says that my daughter is coming on holiday with me. My little girl has been looking forward to see her family abroad but because of him trying to brainwash her saying that I'm leaving her abroad, I can see that she is worried and is scared of coming with me. What do I do now? TIA
Iamme - 3-Feb-17 @ 10:26 PM
Hi My children currently live with family and friends and on a care order till there turn 18 I am trying to discharge the care order in the future but as for now wish to have more contact as this is very stressful on the children not having a bond with myself I feel as I'm battling against the whole system and I'm on my own I have gone down every avenue I can think possible and constantly hit a brick wall also the system I'm trying to work with are not constant and many changes in workers put a lot of stress on myself and mainly my children and this is not fair. Please I need some help and advice. Much appreciated
Lealea - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:49 PM
Hi i had to get a pre steps order out on my abusive ex when he come out of prison a year and half ago he has not seen my children for four years and wanted to know if I could take them on holiday to Spain for a week without his permission or courts? or do I need a residency order aswell ? a bit confused ?
Sadie101 - 21-Jan-17 @ 1:21 PM
Hi, My wife obtained a Prohibited Steps Order. Now we both are compromised and wanting to withdraw the Order. Can you please help us how to apply for Discharge and what we need to include in the application. Kind Regards Jach
Jack - 12-Jan-17 @ 12:51 PM
Madmel - Your Question:
Hi I am a mother who lost in a case of residency. Social services where involved and found there where no worries or concerns about the health and wellbeing of my children. However he decided to go with he thought the children should reside with father. The children's school reports where brilliant with children gets A's B 's and a couple C's both children had 100% attendance. I showed dental records every 6 months. I was at the time trying to set up my own business in horse and child reabilltation. So the children where at home with grandparents where I also lived. My daughter has a born passion for horses and training them she's worked with shires. My younger son also enjoyed the horses working alongside me. Both children where happy little grafters. The younger son has become an angry child and says his father lies because he hasn't kept the promises he made before the change. I now only see my child at weekends they sometimes leave on sat. I lost my passion my world fell apart I can't seem to find work and don't have the heart. Mt daughter missis her horses and gets very upset she doesn't fit in in her new school all blood family is cut off. She still meets with her old friends at weekends. I am so desperate to get my children home and am completely lost with out them I just don't have the 1st clue to what I can do please contact me if you think you can help. I'm broke not a penny to my name I can't phone tax credits or arrange job centre as when they ask about my children I simply fall apart please help me.

Our Response:
We've taken the names and location details off this comment, as it was publicising too much information about your children. If the existing residency order is being breached and you are no longer able to see your children as you were before, you can take it back to the courts, Citizens' Advice may be able to help you apply. If the courts finds there has been a breach of the order, you may be able to avoid costs. If there is more to this and social services are involved, then this may of course be more complex.
LawAndParents - 15-Dec-16 @ 10:41 AM
I recently got back with my two older children's father who has had allegations that he was violent to his ex whom he has a son with but the police threw it out as no evidence was found. My ex called social as we have a son Together and took me to court and got prohibited steps in place that stop my current partner being near my youngest child that is with my ex, my current partner has built a bond over 6 months with all the children his as well as the youngest that is not his and has been nothing but brilliant to them and I am currently pregnant with his child again but the prohibited steps are for 6 months which means my current partner cannot spend our daughters birthday as a family as either he or my youngest child cannot be there and also my current partner cannot bond with our baby when born as he cannot be around my youngest for another month from that time. My question is can I get the prohibited steps taken off if he has no actual evidence of being violent and has shown nothing but love and care for the children as I obviously am extremely upset that my family has been decided and my older two have to chose between there father and younger brother which is obviously very upsetting for them?
Mel - 14-Dec-16 @ 7:21 PM
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