A Prohibited Steps Order is issued when there are concerns about the behaviour or potential actions another individual with parental responsibility for a child may take.
Under section 8 of the Children Act 1989, any individual with parental responsibility for a child can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order against another party. It’s common for an order to be sought where parents have separated or are in the process of doing so, and there are concerns held by one parent about what the other parent may do in relation to the child.
They can place restrictions on the movement and actions of parents and others with parental responsibility.
For example, a Prohibited Steps Order could be issued to stop one parent from leaving the UK with the child and relocating to a different country without the other parent’s permission. The Prohibited Steps Order applies regardless of whether the parent intends to remove their child from the country for just one night, a week’s holiday or for a longer period.
Failure to comply with a Prohibited Steps Order when issued could be viewed as contempt of court and will result in actions being taken against the offending party.
How is a Prohibited Steps order enforced?
If a parent breaches the terms of the agreement, the other party may apply to the court to enforce the order, provided that the child in question is under 16.
The court will then consider making an order (such as a Specific Issue Order), to reverse the decision/action which was prohibited by the Prohibited Steps Order.
This could mean:
● Ordering for the return of the child to live with a certain parent
● Ordering for the child’s passport to be held safely, to prevent international travel taking place
● Respondents in contempt of court could face a fine, or in extreme cases, a prison sentence
If you are concerned about the actions or potential actions of your co-parent, book a consultation with National Legal Service today. We’ll discuss your situation and offer impartial advice in complete confidence.