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.
Moshe Strugano (Attorney - Moshe Strugano and Co Law firm) says, this is great post. You have explained everything here.
moshe strugano - 17-Feb-21 @ 12:23 PM
Hi I am very recently divorced and I wish to move from Worcestershire to wales.I don’t want to stop my ex seeing out child but that is where I want to move to for a better life. For us.
I need some advice on how to go about this. As apparently he can get an order to stop me ?
J - 9-Feb-21 @ 3:43 PM
5 yrs ago My ex wife moved 400 miles to the North of Scotland and started a new relationship. Our two young daughters are now aged 9 and 6 yrs old.
Upon moving my ex immediately aplied to remove m parental rights etc. I spend 7 weeks per year with my daughters (clearly I would like more).
My ex has remarried and has since two new children with him.
Our youngest (of our two daughters) had this week stated that her name at School is now referred to as her new husbands and not mine. She is now almost seven years old. Our eldest daughter (almost 10yrs old still has my surname) I was not informed of this new 'known as name'.
Q. How do I apply for a 'prohibited steps order??'
JeffSmith - 20-Oct-20 @ 10:28 PM
Need some help please I let my daughter see her dad everyday but because I won’t pick up a fone call from him today which Will be abuse like always he’s saying he’s blocking me and keeping my daughter he’s got a son with someone else who is a month older than my daughter he doesn’t have anything to do with I been told about c100 I want him to stop saying he will take her away also is there help with court fees as I’m not working at the moment?
Dani - 2-Oct-20 @ 5:02 PM
I have an 11 year old daughter who doesn't want to see her dad. I used to make her go as I thought this was the right thing however have since changed my mind as this was causing significant stress and anxiety to my daughter. Some back story. There is a history of violence, I had a restraining order years ago as he smashed my front door when my daughter was 2 years old and he harrassed me for 2 or 3 years. This was all occurring whilst he and his mother had regular contact. He wasn't aloud to be alone with my daughter but his mother would repeatedly breach this agreement. Mediation was rejected due to domestic violence. No maintenance for over 6 or 7 years. Contact has slowly decreased over the years. My daughter now hasn't seen her father for over a year. I offered his mother contact without him present to which she declined. He and his mother have my daughters email address and have messaged numerous times however my daughter hasn't responded through her own choice. Last year my daughters father was involved in a murder case of which he was deemed unfit to plee so was released. I have since met someone who is an American citizen. I wish to marry next year however I don't know if I can take my daughter without his consent. Taking into consideration he doesn't have the mental capacity to agree or disagree with me taking her with me so his mother would be the one to take control if they had knowledge of my plans. Does anyone know how I should proceed? Bearing in mind my daughter will be around 13 when I decide to leave if the green card gets approved. Also would the US embassy expect a document to prove I am able to take my daughter? Any advice welcome!
Anais - 10-Sep-20 @ 4:09 PM
Hi I’m just wondering I’ve got a non molestation order against my ex partner my kids dad he’s wanting in supervised contact which I’m not happy with due to him threading to take my children away from me my solicitor is applying for a pso on my behalf but just wondering if this is likely to be granted he has been mentally emotionally and physically abusive to me in the past and feel he isn’t capable of looking after the children as is but he is pushing for unsupervised contact with the children
Blue baby - 3-Aug-20 @ 3:50 PM
Hi, the children’s father walked out on us a year ago. I have never excluded him from my daughters lives whom are 4 and 6 years old. He would came to see them a few hours a week, take them out locally or recently to his flat that is locally.. now he is living with his girlfriend 40/1hr away from us and he asked to take them to hers on Saturday. Can I refuse this, I’m really worried that he might not bring them back (we have our first mediation on Monday) please note, he has been mentally and physically abusive towards me, has a history of alcohol use, he is controlling and manipulative to get his own way.. should I let my kids go, if I say no for them to go far away, would it go against me in mediation/court?Please, help any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Emma - 1-Jul-20 @ 9:30 PM
Hi I split with the children’s dad, both children live with him as they are settled in school and have a good life where they are which is why I didn’t fight for residency (we have joint custody)... he has recently met someone 3 hours away can I stop him from changing their school and moving them there, so they don’t become unsettled and access can remain the same thank you
Pink blue - 4-May-20 @ 6:41 PM
My dad has the thing where i cant leave the country without permission from both parents or the one im travelling with. Me and my dad dont talk anymore and i am now 16. At the end of the year i have plans with my mum to go england and visit my family like i have done times before with his permission. Does he still have authority to not let me go even if we dont talk anymore and i dont see him. Things have happened and i have cut him off but he is threatening me if i dont talk to him he wont let me go.
Emilia - 16-Mar-20 @ 11:30 PM
Caitlin, yes he can and yes he will. Your time with your son is limited - so enjoy it while you can. The truth shall prevail.
Proca - 27-Feb-20 @ 9:42 AM
Basically my sons dad took him and kept him away from me for four days ! I went to court and got a pso and a nonmolestation order on him and due back for a review order on both tomorrow but my sons I’ll so we’re rearranging the hearing !
Can my sons father attend tomorrow and try and get a pso order on me even though they granted me one ?
Also I have been a victim of domestic violence which was proved at the same day hearing 2 weeks ago ! Please can someone help me to understand what the next hearing is for ? And what my ex will try and do ?
Caitlin - 24-Feb-20 @ 5:11 PM
Can I get a PSO against my ex wife new boyfriend. He has been violent towards her but not my son and has not done it when my son has been there as far as I'm aware. She refuse to go to the police as she says she knows what she is doing.
Jakeyboy - 8-Jan-20 @ 7:36 PM
I had a similar problem where my ex was taking my 2 autistic boys near his girlfriend who is a child abuser she had her own children removed a prohibited steps order is just that if your ex has taken your child and you have custody or social services has deemed you fit to have your child and not your ex then it is kidnap plain and simple thankfully my ex can't cope with my kids and soon returns them to me he is now banned from seeing them. My advice is get a solicitor and fast and get soul custody and if you can have his rights revoked especially if he has been violent in the past and you can prove this with a letter from your gp or a social services report. I hope it all works out for you all and you get your children back as kids should be with their mum's.
Megan - 5-Dec-19 @ 8:26 PM
Hi can any one give me advice regarding my ex partner.
i have a restraining order in place as a result of domestic violence..
more recently my ex partner has been turning up at school and last night tried to take my son against his will.
he doesnt have any regular contact with the children in place as refuses to see a solicitor. as doesn't believe he should have to pay for one in order to see the children. where as its important to me that we have things arranged and set out properly for his and the childrens benefit.
i was hoping there was something I could do to prevent his father from being able to turn up at school or after school clubs to remove them as they serving my care.
jcl1985 - 20-Sep-19 @ 10:35 AM
My ex partner has constantly harass me and our kids and now the kids don't want anything to do with him and I called the police and they are investigating it and waiting on respond from them. My problem is he now ringing the school to find out if they attend and I'm anxious that he will turn up to the school and take them anyway of stopping this
Sarah's - 9-Sep-19 @ 1:27 PM
My Ex has had one of my daughters staying with him for the last 6 weeks and he is not letting her have any contact with me....he has taken her mobile phone away from her so she can not ring or txt me...she is 12....he is trying to say that she is abused and social services have a done a report but have said she is safe to live with me they have no concerns....I have a child arrangements order, how do I use it? Do I turn up at his house and if he doesnt let her out do I ring the police?? I'm not sure how it works?? He is saying hes going to change her school...can he do that without my permission? I also have a PSO order...I need some advice on how to deal with this
???? - 27-Aug-19 @ 10:44 AM
My partners ex has upped and moved she doesnt have her own place ahes staying woth froends can a pso stop her from getting a place they have a son and was going to do a pso to stop ger moci and more than an hour away but shes already done it and we haven't done the forms for a pso... She is already saying we have to do all the travel ocer 100 miles away
26 - 19-Aug-19 @ 12:58 PM
I live in the UK. I feel worry if my ex will take my child to overseas and not return to the UK. So can you list it clearly which 45 countries that have entered into an agreement with the UK to help with the recovery of a child in these circumstances?
Smile Cat - 22-Jun-19 @ 10:59 AM
My ex husband is keeping my daughter from me despite there being a 50/50 agreement that was set out in court in 2017. He prevented me from taking my daughter on holiday last year, deciding to keep her from me instead - she is 15 now and claiming that she wants to stay with him and his wife but she has clearly hasbeen alienated from me! He wants to take her to Florida in August and will not even give the address of where they are staying - i will not allow her to leave the country until i receive the address - i only get to see her on Tuesdays after school and every other weekend instead of every other week - i’m distraught by thisCan i stop him from taking her based on the fact that he is breaching the court order ? ??
Emilysmum71 - 19-Jun-19 @ 4:44 PM
Hi.. does a preventive steps order still stand if the applicant withdrew the appliction from court?
?? - 4-Jun-19 @ 5:33 PM
If my x parner has a prohibited step order hes not my oldest boys dad so If i went took him.bk could I get done
Lisa - 13-Apr-19 @ 10:24 AM
Can my xhusband take the children passportBy Abudabi court order me ,my children are British he is sudaneses
Lolla - 16-Mar-19 @ 4:54 AM
Me and my son dad have recently split up, due to him leaving for another women, I have asked him to respect my wishes that he leaves it at least a year down the line before introducing her to our 5 year old son who is heartbroken and very insecure about the situation and he will not agree to! There has been few occasions where he has chosen his new women instead of having his sob and he late picking up and always drops off earlier than agreed
Leigh - 29-Dec-18 @ 8:31 PM
Hi! I don't know where is my ex and he has not been paying any maintenance for three years.
Iwant to visit my parents in India. I don't know how and where I apply yo cancel prohibited order.
Can anyone give me advice for that.
Pratti - 13-Dec-18 @ 7:38 PM
Hi my partners ex is possibly taking her to court and has in the court forms asked to get a pso. My question is when would a court serve a pso why and on what grounds. Would hey serve one on accusations and if a father does not want a member of her family near his children can he do this.
Dan - 5-Dec-18 @ 3:20 PM
I have a pso in place until my children reach the age of 18. Specifically it states my ex cannot remove them from my car or care of school. And that I may take them out of the country for a period of four weeks without court approval.
My question is, my youngest at 13 wants to travel on a scout summer camp to Switzerland, it will be for 10 days, will I need to do anything to allow him to go?
Will I need the court to approve? Or an official letter to accompany him perhaps from my solicitor confirming my agreement?
I would hate for the scout leaders to be challenged at passport control.
Thank you so much for any advice
Muma - 26-Oct-18 @ 7:38 PM
Just a question is the pso still in place if one of the parents passes away
Cj - 22-Oct-18 @ 2:15 AM
I met a women 8 weeks ago she lives 118 miles away from me but wants to live close to me, she has just been given a house 5 miles from me, is she allowed to move her 3 children 110 miles from there father even if she offers to do half the journey for the father to see the kids every weekend. And also see them every school holiday and have contact every evening
Martin Coleman - 30-Sep-18 @ 9:33 PM
ive had a c100 form and pso put in against me and my ex has lied on form about domestic violence... i took my children as her partner hit my son n i have evidence of that,,,, i also have fought for child tax and won and have paid for mediation which she didnt turn up to.... i am trying to get legal aid but as i am male cant even tho i can prove domestic abuse... what can i do to see my children
jonny - 21-Sep-18 @ 11:55 PM
Hi my ex partner is taking me to court for a psco (today) he lied threw his statement saying I'm going to run away with my kids and he will never see them again but he sees them every weekend will out fail and have never stopped him what are my chances
I'm actually panickingad he says I'm an unfit mother etc and don't have my kids interests at heart