What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

A Prohibited Steps Order normally prevents one parent’s right to action decisions relating to children.

If a parent has parental responsibility they have the right to make decisions in relation to children. Parental responsibility is briefly explained within our Child Arrangements Order Guide.

However, if one parent is concerned, they can apply to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order to prohibit the other parent from taking certain steps or decisions.

When To Apply For A Prohibited Steps Order?

We provide some common reasons for one parent to apply below.

  1. In order to stop the other parent from relocating the children to another part of the country or to a foreign jurisdiction;
  2. If you want to prevent the other parent from changing the children’s name;
  3. To stop the other parent from changing the children’s school;
  4. In deciding matters of religion and progressing medical treatment.

Who Can Apply For A Prohibited Steps Order?

  1. Parents;
  2. Guardians;
  3. Special Guardians;
  4. Step-Parents (with parental responsibility)
  5. If a Child Arrangments Order is in force and you are named as an individual with whom the children live.

If you do not fall into these categories, you would normally need to make an application for permission to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to the Family Court.

Mediation (MIAM)

There is normally a requirement for you to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

However, if an exemption (i.e. domestic violence) applies it means that you do not have to attend a MIAM and can proceed. We have explained a MIAM within our previous guide and this can be found by clicking here.

Urgent & Without Notice Prohibited Steps Order

This means you could achieve an Order in a very short time and initially without the other parent being alerted. If the application is urgent and without notice, you would not need to complete a MIAM.

There is a common example of one parent seeking to remove the child and relocate to a foreign jurisdiction. In such urgent circumstances, you may want to make an urgent application to prevent immediate travel. This may be without notice to prevent the other parent from becoming aware and trying to relocate immediately.

This Order can then be served upon the other parent and travel ports can also be alerted.

The Family Court would normally list another hearing for the other parent to attend and provide their position.

How Can I Apply For a Prohibited Steps Order?

The application for a Prohibited Steps Order is made on Form C100 and this would normally incur a fee of £215.00. If you seek for the Family Court to list the application without notice or to reduce the time for service to the other parent (to less than 14 days)- the Form C2 is completed. If you are alledging the children have suffered or are at risk of suffering domestic abuse or violence you would also complete the form C1A.

What If I Cannot Afford The Court Fees?

If you have a low income and are on certain benefits you can consider applying for a fee exemption to possibly reduce or completely remove the fees liability. This will depend on your financial circumstances and we provide further information within our Getting Help With Court Fees.