Specific Issue Orders are orders that parents pursue from the family proceedings court to resolve a matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on, which can include:
Changing your child's name
Decisions about their education
Decisions about particular medical treatment or operation
Whether they should receive religious or non-religious education
Taking your child to live abroad on a permanent basis
Preventing someone from having contact with your child
What the Court Will Do
As in all cases, the court’s main concern is for the welfare of the child. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Applications for a Specific Issue Order are heard before a judge and a representative from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services Officer) who is a qualified social worker. The purpose of this initial meeting will be to reach an agreement between the parents on the relevant issue, and both parents need to consent.
When a Judge will Make an Order
If the judge or magistrate believes that one of the parents may do something without seeking the other’s consent, he or she may make a Specific Issue Order themselves. In addition, the judge may make a Specific Issue Order if one parent is being irresponsible in their care of the child, such as leaving the child with someone unsuitable.
Directions For Hearing
If the situation is not resolved after the first meeting, then the parents and the Cafcass officer will need to go before a District Judge to start proceedings for a hearing. The parents should be accompanied by their legal representatives and will need to submit witness statements. Following interviews with both parents, the Cafcass representative officer will prepare a report which should settle matters.
However, if no agreement can be made, there will be a final hearing and both parents will be required to give evidence in the Family Proceedings Court.
For more information, see the page on www.CourtroomAdvice.co.uk.
My ex won't let me take my 2 girls on holiday next year abroad what can I do
Charlotte14 - 26-Dec-15 @ 4:47 PM
i have a letter of permission from my ex husband to take our son to florida on holiday this year. he has now threatened to revoke consent for the holiday. can i apply for a specific issue order to give my son (he is 15) legal reassurance that he can go on holiday? and would this have to be a full hearing or would the judge award a court order on the evidence alone ( the original letter and the email threatening to revoke permission) this is causing my son so much anguish right now i think it is cruel. my son has had no contact with his father for 4 months now ( my sons choice)
shelly - 26-Mar-14 @ 9:43 AM
My sons are 15 and 14 and wish to have my families surname.Their father, who they have no contact with, nor does he provide any finanicial support for them either wont sign a letter to the passport office to allow them to have their passports in their new name (changed by deed pool) - can I obtain a specific issue order to allow their passports to be changed.
billybob - 28-May-12 @ 1:46 PM
I have been split from my sons mum for nearly 10 years he is nearly 10 and i have had regular visits to him i have taken him away had him every weekend for months. My current partner and i have recently had a child and since then my eldest childs mother has been refusing to let me see him. i am on the birth certificate please advise me as to what rights i have if any to see him
dre - 21-Mar-12 @ 11:37 AM
i am a single woman not in a relationship do i have 2 include the fathers name on the birth certificate and can the baby have nmy surname also the father said his mother want my baby 2 live with them half of the week as is the 1st grandchild in their family
mother2b - 14-Jan-12 @ 3:50 PM
I have custody of my 4 and-a-half year old son and he has been living with me now for nearly four years due to the fact that his mother wasn't providing sufficient care for him.
I have decided that I want to educate my son at home as I feel he will benefit greatly from the one-to-one interaction and it can allow him to blossom as a person. I plan to sit down and talk to his mother and let her know of my ideas and hopefully she'll be able to see that home education is the best thing for our son.
I just wanted to know what his mother could do if she didn't agree with this?
Project81 - 21-Sep-11 @ 4:44 PM
Hi, my son has been on a care order around three years, living at home with placement with parents. Recently sw arrived with 5 police officers and removed my son saying they have withdrawn the placement. This is based on me allegedly sleeping at a friends which I have not, my babies dad sleeping over which he did once, and they are saying they have concerns re alcohol use...I have drank at odd times in the evening and was told and am still told this is not an issue unless im in a totally unfit state. Now sw asked me last year to take my son to pre school nursery which i did with concern as i felt he was too young and not ready, since then his behavior which i say he has learnt from nursery has not been good and this is behind the removal...A few weeks ago a senior education psychologist filed a report and she put this down to my sons time in care and this was based on a number of behaviors she observed, her observation went on over a two month period as did another behavioral expert who agreed this (alarmingly seinior sw has not read this)...Now I want to go to court for a specific order that order being my son is returned home...what do you feel the judge will decide? I'm trying to do this alone and ex-partie as I have recorded social worker giving her reasons, which she knew after and I want the judge to hear/read transcribe recording stating the reasons of removal which are what i have stated above what chance do you feel i have in being successful?
Jachs mum - 9-Jul-11 @ 9:31 AM
My partner & his ex wife have recently had their divorce finalised. they have a young son between them and he is currently living between both parents (shared residency) over a 2 week rolling rota they see him for exactly the same amount of time, therefore there is no alpha parent in the arrangement.
However, recently his ex wife has asked to take him away for 2 weeks over his birthday and my partner has agreed on the understanding that he will have his son for a 2 week period on his return and that next year over his next birthday he will take his son away for a 2 week period too.
this was agreed verbally but when my partner wrote up the agreement, as she trys to back out of arrangements quite often, and then asked her to sign it for his piece of mind (he knows its not a legal document) she flipped out and said she would not sign it.
this is now making us think she is going to go back on her word of my partner taking their son away for his birthday next year.
is there anything she can do to actually stop us or anything we can do to make her keep her word?
palf34 - 24-Jun-11 @ 1:26 PM
Hi I'm currently in foster care and I am worried because my foster mum (aunty) is trying to get specific issue order so my dad can take me on holiday (my foster mum's brother) do you think it will all be sorted before 29th May I would really like to go?Aged 14