Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Monday, 30 April 2012

What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

I was asked today, what is a Prohibited Steps Order? (PSO)

A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children.
We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent.

Can I Take My Child on Holiday?
You can only do this if the court agrees. In order for that to happen, you must appear before a magistrate and prove that you are not likely to leave the country and not come back. It also has to be something that your ex-partner agrees to.

Can a Prohibited Steps Order Be Changed?
The answer to this is yes, but only if all parties are in agreement and can satisfy a magistrate at family court.If there have been instances in the past where visitation rights have been exceeded or ignored, the magistrate may feel he or she has no other choice but to rule against any proposed changes to the order. Also, he or she must take into account the effects such changes may have on the child (or children).

What Can I Do If The Other Parent Doesn't Come Back?
There is no easy way to deal with this question – the chances are if they have taken them to a country that has not entered into an agreement with the UK, it may be hard to have your child returned to you. At present there are 45 countries that have entered into an agreement with the UK to help with the recovery of a child in these circumstances.

Does The Prohibited Steps Order Apply Just to Holidays?
No, a PSO also applies to any jurisdiction within the UK as specified by the court at the time of issue. For example, if the court finds that there are grounds to suspect the parent in question may take their child out of the area, then they may specify in the order that they do not do so. Failure to comply with this order is a criminal offence (often charged as kidnapping) and could result in a custodial sentence.


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