Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, especially when children are involved. In some cases, one parent may become concerned about the other parent’s actions and worry about their child’s safety. This is where a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) can come in handy. In this article, we will discuss what a PSO is, how it can protect you and your children during a divorce, and what steps you can take to obtain one.
Understanding Prohibited Steps Orders
A Prohibited Steps Order is a court order that prohibits one parent from taking certain actions or making certain decisions without the consent of the other parent or the court. This type of order can be used to prevent a parent from doing something that may put their child’s safety or welfare at risk, such as taking the child out of the country or changing their school without consulting the other parent.
Situations Where a Prohibited Steps Order May be Necessary
There are several situations where a PSO may be necessary during a divorce. Some of these include:
1. Domestic Violence
If there is a history of domestic violence, a PSO can be used to protect the child and the other parent from further harm. The order can prohibit the abusive parent from coming near the child or the other parent and from contacting them.
2. Abduction Risk
If there is a risk of abduction, a PSO can be used to prevent the other parent from taking the child out of the country or even out of the state. The order can also require the parent to surrender their passport and prevent them from obtaining a new one.
3. Educational Decisions
If the parents disagree on important educational decisions, such as where the child should go to school, a PSO can be used to prevent one parent from making a unilateral decision without consulting the other.
4. Medical Decisions
If the parents disagree on important medical decisions, such as whether the child should undergo a particular medical procedure, a PSO can be used to prevent one parent from making a unilateral decision without consulting the other.
Obtaining a Prohibited Steps Order
To obtain a PSO, you will need to make an application to the court. You will need to provide evidence to support your case, such as police reports, medical reports, or witness statements. It is important to note that obtaining a PSO can be a lengthy and expensive process, and it is not always guaranteed that the court will grant the order.
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional time, but it is important to prioritize the safety and welfare of your children. If you have concerns about your child’s safety or well-being, a Prohibited Steps Order may be an appropriate course of action. Remember to seek legal advice and gather evidence to support your case.
1. Can a PSO be changed or revoked?
Yes, a PSO can be changed or revoked if there is a significant change in circumstances.
2. Can a PSO be applied for after a divorce has been finalized?
Yes, a PSO can be applied for even after a divorce has been finalized if there are concerns about the child’s safety or welfare.
3. How long does it take to obtain a PSO?
The length of time it takes to obtain a PSO can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the court’s schedule. It can take several weeks or even months.
4. Can a PSO be obtained without the other parent’s knowledge?
No, a PSO cannot be obtained without the other parent’s knowledge. The other parent must be given notice of the application and an opportunity to respond.