Parents who separate, divorce or dissolve their civil partnership have their parental responsibilities and contact arrangements clearly outlined in a Parental Agreement or divorce settlement.
However, there may be ongoing issues between parents – including disagreements about how the resident parent or non-resident parent brings up their children or where they take them.
In cases where parents cannot agree on specific issues – and there may be a risk one parent will removal the child from the UK or will take them on trips without the permission or knowledge of the other parent – a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) can be granted by the court to prevent a child being removed from the resident parent without permission.
Prohibited Steps Orders can be one course of action if there is any possibility of parent-child abduction, where a parent might abduct their child and take them out of the country – either temporarily or permanently.
Resident and non-resident parents can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order – and this might be especially relevant if a parent and former partner has dual nationality, or may live and work abroad.
PSOs can be flexible if both parties agree – but a family court will decide on whether the PSO can be varied and will always take the welfare of the child into consideration before the parents’ wishes.
If there has in the past been any dispute or breach of any other agreement – such as child contact rights – the family court may rule against any variation in a PSO.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers can advise on applying for a Prohibited Steps Order, as well as advising on making an application to the court to vary the terms of any existing order.
In cases where agreement cannot be reached between a couple, Duncan Lewis can also arrange Family Mediation to help both parties work through the issues and reach a solution, without recourse to the courts.
The courts will always take into account the welfare of the child so working through any differences within lawyer supported Family Mediation can help avoid traumatic court action.
Both parents can appoint their own Duncan Lewis child care lawyer to give independent legal advice at every stage of the mediation process – Duncan Lewis’ own Mediators include Resolution qualified Professional Practice Consultants.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any child care issues which may require applying for a Prohibited Steps Order.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers offer a fixed fee for an initial client interview and assessment of a private child matter in which a Prohibited Steps Order might have to be applied for.
After a case has been assessed, it is usually possible for a fixed fee arrangement to be put in place – and Duncan Lewis will always advise clients of the costs in advance.
Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including child care law – and in some cases may be able to offer Legal Aid funding for child care cases, including help with the costs of applying for court orders if a client is on benefits or has a low income.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – or who are in dispute over childcare and may wish to apply for a PSO – to get in touch as soon as possible before the situation escalates, or if a child is at risk of being taken out of the country unlawfully by a parent.
Once you have contacted Duncan Lewis, we can act swiftly in any child care matter and put in place measures to help resolve the issues and prevent further dispute and/or legal costs mounting up.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including Prohibited Steps Orders – contact Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers on 020 7923 4020.