Family Solicitor
Senior Solicitor Consultant
Judge Emeritus & Solicitor
Trainee Solicitor
Principal Solicitor

St. Paul's Office:

OTS Solicitors

15 Old Bailey

London

EC4A 7EB

Chat
Have a question?

Call us now:

0203 959 9123

We're here to help

What is your query in relation to?

Specific Issue & Prohibited Steps Orders

Message from our Managing Partner, Mr Oshin Shahiean:

Online Legal Advice and Services - We have already brought online processes and safeguards to allow our professionals and support teams to function safely from our offices and fully online. In light of the Coronavirus developments clients seeking legal advice need to simply complete our online enquiry form or call our switchboard on +44 (0)203 959 9123 who will arrange and appointment via our online platform, WhatsApp, skype or telephone conferencing.

When two parents cannot agree over their child’s upbringing either parent can apply to the family court for a specific issue order or a prohibited steps order. A judge will then decide on what is in your child’s best interests. There are many reasons why parents and others with parental responsibility for a child might disagree about how a child is brought up and UK children solicitors always recommend looking to see if a compromise can be reached before applying for a specific issue order or a prohibited steps order.

Children law solicitors

The specialist children law solicitors at OTS Solicitors understand the importance of making the right decisions about your child’s upbringing and resolving parental child care disagreements. For a discussion about how solicitor, Angelique Holm, and the children law team at OTS Solicitors can best help you call us on 0203 959 9123 or use our online enquiry form.

 

What are specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders?

A specific issue order determines a parenting issue that is in dispute in connection with any aspect of parental responsibility for a child.

 

A prohibited steps order prevents a person from taking a step in relation to a child. A prohibited steps order can be made against someone who is not a parent or relative of the child.   

 

UK children law solicitors find it is easier for parents to understand what specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders can do by providing examples of common situations where applications for these orders are made to court.

 

Examples of specific issue orders

Common applications for specific issue orders include applications to decide:

  • Whether a child should practice a religion or be enrolled at a faith school;

  • Whether a child should be educated by the state or attend a private school and the specific choice of private school (for example, a boarding school or day school or a school focussed on academic achievement or pastoral care or sports);

  • Whether a child should undergo treatment or medical intervention (for example, vaccination, circumcision or receive gender reassignment counselling or hormone therapy);

  • Whether a child should follow a specific diet ( for example, vegan or a gluten free diet);

  • Whether a parent should be allowed to change a child’s first name or family name;

  • Whether a parent should be allowed to take a child to their marriage  or for the child to be a bridesmaid or page-boy at the ceremony;

  • Whether a parent should be allowed to introduce their child to a new partner.

 

There are numerous examples of specific issues that parents can struggle to agree about when it comes to the parenting and upbringing of their children. The best option if there is an aspect of parenting of your child that you cannot reach agreement on is to take legal advice on your options to help you reach a compromise solution with the help of a children law solicitor or through mediation.

 

Examples of prohibited steps orders

Common applications for prohibited steps orders include applications to decide:

  • Whether a parent should be prohibited from taking the child out of state education to be home educated;

  • Whether a person should be prohibited from meeting a child that he or she has met on-line;

  • Whether a parent should be prohibited from taking their child out of England and Wales.

 

Reaching agreement over parenting

 

The role of a children solicitor is not to automatically advise that children court proceedings are the only or best option when a parent is not able to reach an agreement over the specific parenting arrangements for their child. Every family is different and in some family situations urgent court applications should be started without delay, for example, where a parent fears that the other parent will take the child overseas unless a prohibited steps order is made urgently.

 

In other family disagreements the best way forward may be to reach a compromise. For example, if you do not your child to attend boarding school, can you both agree on private education as a day pupil?

 

A children law solicitor can help you look at non-court based resolution options and support you in reaching an agreement through:    

  • Roundtable meetings;

  • Family counselling;

  • Family mediation;

  • Arbitration.

 

Some, or all, of these alternatives will not be right for parents, depending on the nature of their relationship with their former partner (for example, if there was domestic violence in the relationship) and subject to the urgency of the situation. A children law solicitor can advise you on the best option to suit you and your family to achieve a compromise agreement.

           

Court cases for specific issue and prohibited steps orders

 If you have to start proceedings for a specific issue order or have to respond to an application for a prohibited steps order a judge will decide the court application based on what they think is in your child’s best interests taking into account a set list of factors known as “the welfare checklist” The welfare checklist includes:

  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child, in light of his or her age and understanding; and

  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs; and

  • The likely effect on the child of any change in his/her circumstances; and

  • The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics the court considers relevant; and

  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering; and

  • How capable each of the parents is of meeting the child’s needs; and

  • The range of powers available to the court.

As the court will make a decision based on what a judge thinks is best for the child control is taken away from both parents and placed in the hands of the family court. That is why it is best to take early specialist legal advice to help you understand both your legal options and prospects of a successful court application so you can make informed choices over whether to reach an agreement over the parenting issue that is in dispute or ask a court to make a specific issue order or prohibited steps order.

 

Children law solicitors

The specialist children law solicitors at OTS Solicitors understand the particular urgency involved in helping parents with child abduction fears or parents needing court orders to take their child overseas on holiday or to live. For a discussion about how solicitor, Angelique Holm, and the children law team at OTS Solicitors can best help you call us on 0203 959 9123 or use our online enquiry form.
Ask our experts a question
View previous cases that relate to your position
Your question will be processed by us in accordance with our Legal Notice and Private and Cookies policy. By submitting a question, you consent to such processing and you warrant that all data provided by you is accurate. We reserve the right to display your question*
Your email address. The answer will be emailed to you.
Add your phone number If you would like us to call you back with a more detailed answer.

Get in touch