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Prohibited Steps Order – What is this?

A prohibited steps order is a court order which prevents someone from doing something.

Although a prohibited steps order is often utilised to stop a parent from taking a child abroad, it can be used for a wide range of different reasons.


Can anyone have a prohibited steps order made against them?

As well as stopping a parent from taking their child abroad, prohibited steps orders are frequently used to stop a parent from doing something with their child, such as attending events or taking part in certain activities.

However, a prohibited steps order can actually be made against anyone. Having parental responsibility is not a prerequisite. What’s more, a prohibited steps order may even be used on someone who is not party to the proceedings.

prohibited steps order


Who can apply for a prohibited steps order?

Certain people can apply to the court for a prohibited steps order without needing permission from the court, first. This includes guardians, the person who is named on the child arrangements order as the person who the child is living with, parents and step parents with parental responsibility.

Others will have to seek permission from the courts to apply for the prohibited steps order, before making the application.


What kind of things could a prohibited steps order cover?

A prohibited steps order could stop someone (usually a parent) from doing various things, such as:

  • removing their child from school
  • changing their child’s name
  • taking the child out of the UK or moving elsewhere in the UK with the child


When can a prohibited steps order be made?

A prohibited steps order may be made during any family proceedings involving the child or as a separate application to the court.

The welfare of the child is always the court’s top priority when making its decision about whether or not to make a prohibited steps order. When making their decision, the Judge will be guided by various issues, such as the wishes of the child and any harm suffered by the child.


How long can a prohibited steps order last?

Either until the child is 16 years old or, more rarely, until the child reaches 18 years old.

Alternatively, a prohibited steps order can last for a specific amount of time (which is specified on the order).


Prohibited steps orders: are there any restrictions?

There are various restrictions when it comes to prohibited steps orders. For example:

  • they cannot be made while the child is being cared for by the local authority
  • orders cannot continue after a child is 18 years old


Urgent prohibited steps orders 

It may be possible to make an urgent application to the court for a prohibited steps order, without informing the other party.

As always, it is important to seek legal advice for your individual circumstances.


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to prohibited steps orders, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on prohibited steps orders

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email mail@austinkemp.co.uk.

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

23rd October 2019

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