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Prohibited Steps Orders

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 9 Jul 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've had a prohibited steps order in place before as my partner threatened to take my daughter away to her dad's and not come back she's broken every court I've had in place for 4years now just got out of court a week ago another order in place and she's already sent a message saying she's booked a holiday to her dad's over 26times I've had her in court she's done her best to stop contact and now it's ruled in my favour I feel she will go and not come bk and it's only 6week away I'd agree to other places just not her dad's I don't trust her to not come Can you advise me
Joey - 9-Jul-18 @ 8:19 PM
My ex has been awol for over 9 months and was asked by the court to apply for a passport for my child in 2015, he didn’t despite it being a court order! So no SPO was put in place as such as there was no passport, with my mps help I got a passport for the child now have to travel with child in Europe soon what do I do! Can’t afford legal fees and court takes forever to respond to my request of granting me permission to travel! AdviseM
M - 29-Jun-18 @ 11:42 AM
Jenny- Your Question:
Hi! A prohibited steps was put in place 2013 to prevent my son's biological father from taking him. Within this prevents me from changing my son's name. How do I change this. My son has not seen his biological father since 2012

Our Response:
You have to apply for a court order to change your son's name if the father does not consent.
LawAndParents - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:56 PM
Hi, My ex applied PSO to stop me taking my son away two year ago. Now, I have my house and work in UK. But my family is in another country. I found that it is very difficult to get permission from my ex, normally it took months to get a letter. I cant leave uk if my family have an energy as I have to look after my son. And I have to kept chasing. And they limited the dates for me to visit my parents. I didn't get maintenance and my son 7 days live with me. My ex didn't see my son a lot.I cant go to travelling with my son as he always didn't reply. and sometimes just said you seems have money then you have to pay more my son school fee. ( we agreed if he would like my son to go to private school, he pay for him, but actually I paid some of the fees.) In this case, Is that easy for me to discharge this order please? and if not, How long I need to wait until this order is invalid ( I means that I didn't need his permission to go out uk with my son.
Grace - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:05 PM
Hi! A prohibited steps was put in place 2013 to prevent my son's biological father from taking him. Within this prevents me from changing my son's name. How do I change this. My son has not seen his biological father since 2012
Jenny - 23-Jun-18 @ 1:35 PM
Hartshrsh - Your Question:
My partners ex has placed a prohibited steps order against my partner removing his child out of her care. She has moved the child’s school and will not tell us the new school name (however we think we know it). As a parent, is my partner allowed to go to said new school with his child’s birth certificate and ask that his postal address is put onto the system, allowing the new school to send us copies of school reports. Or will this be breaching the order? We do not wish to take her out of school, only receive copies of letter/reports

Our Response:
What are the details of your court order? We'd really need more detail to comment on this.
LawAndParents - 22-Jun-18 @ 12:29 PM
My partners ex has placed a prohibited steps order against my partner removing his child out of her care. She has moved the child’s school and will not tell us the new school name (however we think we know it). As a parent, is my partner allowed to go to said new school with his child’s birth certificate and ask that his postal address is put onto the system, allowing the new school to send us copies of school reports. Or will this be breaching the order? We do not wish to take her out of school, only receive copies of letter/reports
Hartshrsh - 21-Jun-18 @ 12:40 PM
I have just been to court yesterday the judge has made an order that is dad is not to move him from my care and we as parents are to try and sort out how he sees his son until the next hearing as he wants social services to attend the hearing .
Kizzy - 21-Jun-18 @ 7:20 AM
Kelmc78 - Your Question:
Hi, my brother and his ex have a shared care order in place for their 4 children. The oldest spends 5 night with dad and 2 with mum. The 3 younger siblings stay from fri-mon. The oldest son has said their mum intends to move away and take the children with her. Can we apply for a pso or do we have to go through mediation all again first. It's a matter of urgency. Thanks

Our Response:
You can apply straight to the courts for a prohibited steps order.
LawAndParents - 8-Jun-18 @ 1:59 PM
Hi, my brother and his ex have a shared care order in place for their 4 children. The oldest spends 5 night with dad and 2 with mum. The 3 younger siblings stay from fri-mon. The oldest son has said their mum intends to move away and take the children with her. Can we apply for a pso or do we have to go through mediation all again first. It's a matter of urgency. Thanks
Kelmc78 - 6-Jun-18 @ 7:23 PM
Ex has put our 8 year son on back of his sports motorbike, not wearing armoured trousers, down a 60 mph dual carriageway - 4 times in one weekend. I am refusing to let Son on the back of the bike again. Can I get a PSO to enforce this, until he's 16 years old? A court would surely see the irresponsibility of the parent?? TIA
Anon - 22-May-18 @ 11:25 PM
Rob- Your Question:
HiMy partner and I have been together for almost 4 years and she has a son of 13 from her previous marriage.I live 250 miles away from my partner and we would like to get married and move in together but fear her ex husband will object to her moving away.My partner doesn't work so I would have to give up my job to move the other way, neither of us want to restrict her son from seeing his father and are willing to meet half way with him to reduce the journeys. How should we go about moving this forward, my partners ex has remarried and we would like to move on with our lives too.

Our Response:
Try talking to the son and his father about this and see how they feel - you may be able to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement. If you cannot agree, the natural father could apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, in which case the courts would decide.
LawAndParents - 27-Apr-18 @ 11:00 AM
If a foster child is not allowed to go to their parents memorial service for fear of others causing the permancy procedure to go wrong. Can they go if social work is present or is there no way to resolve the issue.This child lives in scotland
Trouble - 26-Apr-18 @ 11:03 PM
I separated from my ex partner, about a year and a half. He is the father of my kids, but we were never married. I left him because he abused me for years and couldn’t stay with him any longer. He doesn’t communicate with me directly and I have tried. He goes through my 14 year old daughter to pass on messages. I want to take my three younger children in holiday to see there great grandmother as she is unwell. She does not live in the UK, she lives in Toronto Canada along with my extended family which my children has not met fully. I therefore I wrote to my ex to map out exactly what my intentions are, dates of intended travel and our return. My children will get the chance to see their family and have a vacation in which they have never really had one before. Their father won’t allow me take them without a viable reason and puts pressure on them to say they don’t want to go. He sees them twice a month in which he agreed and does not take them any other time especially during the holidays. What can I do in order to take my children on holiday with me for three weeks to see their family?
Gal - 25-Apr-18 @ 10:56 PM
Hi My partner and I have been together for almost 4 years and she has a son of 13 from her previous marriage. I live 250 miles away from my partner and we would like to get married and move in together but fear her ex husband will object to her moving away. My partner doesn't work so I would have to give up my job to move the other way, neither of us want to restrict her son from seeing his father and are willing to meet half way with him to reduce the journeys. How should we go about moving this forward, my partners ex has remarried and we would like to move on with our lives too.
Rob - 24-Apr-18 @ 1:51 PM
my daughter will finish 6 in June. my partner from which we are not married after returning from vacation, she told me that she met someone else, her former lover who at that time was when I did not know her yet. She told me that he wants me to leave because she wants her new partner to come here and live with her, and if he does not go to Poland (we are Polish nationality). I live in England for 11 years and all this time I work and my former partner is not working for a few years. Because there were big problems when she was pregnant (2.5 months before the date was a caesarean section) and then we did not have our own flat was not even when to take care of it because 3-4 times a week we went to Oxford to the hospital. In connection with this, we received a flat from cauncil. Because I lived 5 years in England and my ex less than 2 years, the application for housing was on me for the number of years. At present, I have persuaded my ex-lover her arrival (I do not want my daughter to live with a man who cheated on his own child and I do not know who he is) I'm afraid my ex can fly to Poland and not return and then I would lose my daughter. Can I apply for the Prohibited Steps Order in this situation? My daughter is born here, she goes to school, she has friends of British friends. I do not come back to Poland and I do not want my daughter to come back there, but stay here with me. Where can I get a form for Prohibited and is it expensive? And if my ex can let me move out of this apartment without having any income? I have some chances to keep my daughter with me and limit my ex freedom in traveling and all other changes (there is a good mother, loves daughter and takes care of her, but does not want my daughter to live with a man with not the best opinion).I currently have no other woman and I do not want to have one.
Robert - 21-Apr-18 @ 6:24 PM
my daughter will finish 6 in June. my partner from which we are not married after returning from vacation, she told me that she met someone else, her former lover who at that time was when I did not know her yet. She told me that he wants me to leave because she wants her new partner to come here and live with her, and if he does not go to Poland (we are Polish nationality). I live in England for 11 years and all this time I work and my former partner is not working for a few years. Because there were big problems when she was pregnant (2.5 months before the date was a caesarean section) and then we did not have our own flat was not even when to take care of it because 3-4 times a week we went to Oxford to the hospital. In connection with this, we received a flat from cauncil. Because I lived 5 years in England and my ex less than 2 years, the application for housing was on me for the number of years. At present, I have persuaded my ex-lover her arrival (I do not want my daughter to live with a man who cheated on his own child and I do not know who he is) I'm afraid my ex can fly to Poland and not return and then I would lose my daughter. Can I apply for the Prohibited Steps Order in this situation? My daughter is born here, she goes to school, she has friends of British friends. I do not come back to Poland and I do not want my daughter to come back there, but stay here with me. Where can I get a form for Prohibited and is it expensive? And if my ex can let me move out of this apartment without having any income? I have some chances to keep my daughter with me and limit my ex freedom in traveling and all other changes (there is a good mother, loves daughter and takes care of her, but does not want my daughter to live with a man with not the best opinion).I currently have no other woman and I do not want to have one.
Robert - 21-Apr-18 @ 11:50 AM
Parkesy - Your Question:
Im currently going through court The dad took me to court as soon as I was out of hospital We was never a couple He has treatened to take my son whos almost 3 months old on the 17th april 1018 The court granted me the pso and for the dad one day a week for 3 hours unsupervised he wants more contact as hia not happy with 1 day a week and wants 4 days a week includeing night visits the dad doesnt live in the same area code he lives 4 hours away but has family where I live with my son would the pso be remained until my son is 16 and would he get more contact

Our Response:
A PSO can be for a specified length of time or last until the child reaches 16 years of age. In limited circumstances orders can last until the child is 18 years of age. Check the terms of the order.
LawAndParents - 11-Apr-18 @ 11:40 AM
Moll - Your Question:
I have two children. Their father is on their birth certificate. We seperated 3 years ago. Since then I have allowed access every other wk end. My son is nearly a teenager. I told him off and he got his dad to pick him up. His father and I do not get on. His father refuses to bring him home. And my son says he doesnt want to come home. What rights do I have getting my son back?

Our Response:
If there is no court order in place, then it's not easy to "make" the father return him. Try mediation or failing that apply to the courts for a court order that details when your son spends time with each parent.
LawAndParents - 10-Apr-18 @ 2:50 PM
Im currently going through court The dad took me to court as soon as i was out of hospital We was never a couple He has treatened to take my son whos almost 3 months old on the 17th april 1018 The court granted me the pso and for the dad one day a week for 3 hours unsupervised he wants more contact as hia not happy with 1 day a week and wants 4 days a weekincludeing night visits the dad doesnt live in the same area code he lives 4 hours away but has family where i live with my son would the psobe remained until my son is 16 and would he get more contact
Parkesy - 10-Apr-18 @ 1:10 PM
I have two children. Their father is on their birth certificate. We seperated 3 years ago. Since then i have allowed access every other wk end. My son is nearly a teenager. I told him off and he got his dad to pick him up. His father and i do not get on. His father refuses to bring him home. And my son says he doesnt want to come home. What rights do i have getting my son back?
Moll - 9-Apr-18 @ 8:55 PM
There I'd current a pso in place saying my child can't be round my daughter till cafcass have done a safe guarding report what would happen if I went against this and kept her through neglectand her emotional state she's 5
Neala - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:48 PM
The unfairness of a Prohibited Steps Orders I’ll leave this short. Last month, my wife announced she wanted a divorce without any warning and left the family home with my daughter. A few days later on a Friday at around 8 pm I got a knock on the door from a court bailiff summoning me to court for Monday morning. I was given a PSO (C100A and C1) without any notice or opportunity to contact a solicitor that weekend. I had no choice but to represent myself in person which meant the prohibited steps order stands until my FHDRA meeting (in the next few days). My wife has claimed: I have pushed her - NOT TRUE! Threatened to take the child out of her custody – NOT TRUE! That my family are a threat and will do the same – NOT TRUE! My parents are just about able to care for themselves. I have harassed her family – NOT TRUE! NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE! She has claimed the issue is the odd time we have argued in front of our daughter and she feels this detrimental to our daughter’s health. What I have been doing under my wife supervision is watching my daughter take part in her sports activity, one cinema visit and a few visits to my parents. None of these constitute to quality time with my daughter. How can this be fair? Cafcass have contacted me and taken note of myside of the story.Her solicitor has said our daughter is going to school and she is OK in her new home. My wife normally works weekends so I would always look after our daughter then. I assume my wife is presently off work (with stress?) at the moment. My question how likely is it that my daughter can stay with me at the weekends? I’m concerned why wife will just contest everything and yet she has made false allegations. Does this not constitute contempt of court when someone will purposely deceive a court (especially when my wife works in a place of law).
Nelson - 3-Apr-18 @ 1:04 PM
My ex recently took our daughter and my son out of town - he has no Legal right to do this in regards my son as he is not his biological father and I never married him - to make matters worse he was in company of a woman unknown to myself and my children and proceeded to allow our baby daughter aged 5 to share a bed with this woman - they also cut off all contact between myself and my children in the hope I would not find out until much later - when I did find out obviously I searched high and low for my children in tears - the police were useless and did not take my concerns seriously despite upon my children’s return me being informed by the children they had been left alone in my exes car whilst my ex and his new woman went into a pub drinking, that my son did not wear a seat belt the entire journey because the car was only a 4 seater and priority of seat belts was given to the exes new woman’s young child and that whilst at the accommodation my son who has medical problems was expected to go outside and watch the two younger children whilst my ex and his new woman had sex indoors!!! Surely there is something in the eyes of the Law I can do to safe guard my children without constantly being blackmailed with maintenance payments in order for contact to continue. I do not trust my ex and mutual contact on my terms was on the understanding his mum supervised contact when he had the children due to previous issues. I no longer trust his parents as they condone his behaviour and allowed this to happen. Please help me try and work out the best way to safe guard my children!! At present I have sent both Social Services and the Police a letter of complaint due to the Polices lack of assistance and attitude that they did not have the man power to search for my children. If I for one felt my children were safe I certainly would never have contacted the police and yes I do feel badly let down
Cookie777 - 2-Apr-18 @ 7:47 PM
chad - Your Question:
Hello, I currently have a contact order through the courts and see my two children every other weekend saturday and sunday overnights, after seperating from their mother she stopped all contact and moved away; I went nearly a year without any contact while court proceedings progressed, I won contact and its been regular now for about 6 months, in the mean time my ex has married a guy in the army, he has recently been reposted to the a new barrack over 8 hours away (400 + miles) after rebuilding a strong relationship with my son and daughter and them also rebuilding a relationship with there brother (my other son to a previous relationship) I am concerned as to the impact this move will have on my children and wondered if a PSO was the way forward or should I just step back and allow the move to happen, in moving this far away they are losing regular contact with myself, there brother, cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents and other family members from both sides of the family, does my ex partners husband being in the army affect my rights? please help

Our Response:
This would be for a court to decide really. They will look at the circumstances surrounding the lives of you children and make a decision based on their best interests.
LawAndParents - 27-Mar-18 @ 2:24 PM
hello, i currently have a contact order through the courts and see my two children every other weekend saturday and sunday overnights, after seperating from their mother she stopped all contact and moved away; i went nearly a year without any contact while court proceedings progressed, i won contact and its been regular now for about 6 months, in the mean time my ex has married a guy in the army, he has recently been reposted to the a new barrack over 8 hours away (400 + miles) after rebuilding a strong relationship with my son and daughter and them also rebuilding a relationship with there brother (my other son to a previous relationship) i am concerned as to the impact this move will have on my children and wondered if a PSOwas the way forward or should i just step back and allow the move to happen, in moving this far away they are losing regular contact with myself, there brother, cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents and other family members from both sides of the family, does my ex partners husband being in the army affect my rights? please help
chad - 25-Mar-18 @ 3:44 PM
V - Your Question:
My ex has applied for a PSO to stop me deregistering our son. He has already been taken out of school for 2 months and my ex ignored my attempt to discuss it with him. Is he likely to be successful?Thank you

Our Response:
We don't know as this will be for the courts to decide. They'll consider all the circumstances and information then make their decision based on what's in the child's interests.
LawAndParents - 23-Mar-18 @ 12:13 PM
if both a father and mother agree to not move the child away what can they do to get this in writing and legal what do they apply to the courts with and for to get a judge agree to this decsion
carty2010 - 21-Mar-18 @ 7:42 PM
My ex has applied for a PSO to stop me deregistering our son. He has already been taken out of school for 2 months and my ex ignored my attempt to discuss it with him. Is he likely to be successful? Thank you
V - 20-Mar-18 @ 5:16 PM
Loopy - Your Question:
My daughter has had no contact with her dad for over 9 years she is 9.5 now he has pr how would I go about going abroad on holiday with her I do have a bit of paper from the courts stating court hearing was dismissed (thrown out of court) this was in 2013 would this do 2 show no contact with father?

Our Response:
If there is no contact it should be a fairly straight forward process to get this through the courts. If you have a child arrangement order in place which says the child must live with you, you do not need permission from the other parent to take a child abroad 28 days or fewer.
LawAndParents - 20-Mar-18 @ 12:41 PM
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