When can you apply for a prohibited steps order?
You can apply for a PSO if you need to prevent someone from taking an action or making a decision that will have a negative impact on your child. For example:
- Moving your child to another school
- Taking your child to see a particular person
- Changing your child’s name
- Moving your child away from the local area/abroad
- Giving their permission for your child to undergo a risky medical treatment
- Decisions concerning religion
When deciding whether to grant a PSO, the court’s primary consideration will be your child’s welfare. Under the Children Act 1989, welfare issues include:
- A child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
- The likely effect of any change in circumstances on a child.
- A child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics which the court considers relevant
- Any harm a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
- How capable the parents are of meeting a child’s needs
The court will also consider the reasons why a parent wishes to take a particular action. For example, if they need to move away from the local area to start a new job, this may be acceptable but moving to prevent the other parent from seeing their child is not.