Asset 6 Children

Specific Issue Orders

What is a Specific Issue Order?

If you and the child’s other parent have decided on some aspects of how your child will be brought up but just cannot seem to agree on a particular point, a Specific Issue Order will allow a court to make the decision for you.

The Specific Issue Order can be used to resolve a number of arguments, always ensuring that the final decision is made with the child’s best interests at heart.

It may sometimes be appropriate to make a Specific Issue Order and a Prohibited Steps Order. A Specific Issue Order may be made for the return of a child and a Prohibited Steps Order made to require that the child, once returned, is not to be removed again.

Who Can Apply for a Specific Issue Order?

The child’s parents, the step-parents with parental responsibility, guardians, special guardians and anyone who is named in a Child Arrangements Order as a person with whom the child is to live. These people may apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order without requiring the court’s permission to do so. Anyone else though, including the child him/herself, will need the court’s permission to make an application.

Why are Specific Issue Orders Usually Made?

Specific Issue Orders have usually been made to resolve disputes relating to:

  • medical treatment, including the question of immunisation;
  • education, including possible attendance at a religious school;
  • permission to take a child out of the jurisdiction for a holiday if there is no Child Arrangements Order in place stating with whom the child is to live;
  • the return of a child (in abduction cases);
  • changing a child’s name; and,
  • a child’s religious upbringing.

The Court’s Role in Applying for a Specific Issue Order

If it is not possible to reach an amicable agreement about your child’s welfare, you can apply to the court for an Order.

It is now a requirement that before you make an application for a Specific Issues Order you must attend a family Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). You can attend this meeting together or separately. You may not need to attend a MIAM if an application must be made urgently, for example, if there are issues of domestic violence.

An application is then made to court, which sets out the details of all the adults and children in the case. If your application is urgent it may mean you make the application without telling the other parent what you are doing. When the court receives the application, it will set a time and place for a first court appointment.

How Does The Court Make Their Decision?

The Children Act 1989 provides a list of considerations for the Judge:

  • the wishes and feelings of the child concerned;
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • the likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the court’s decision;
  • the child’s age, sex and background;
  • any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering;
  • the capability of the child’s parents (or other relevant people) in meeting the child’s needs, and
  • the powers available to the court.

Always remember that the welfare of the child is always the court’s main concern.

In certain circumstances you may qualify for legal aid – please see our page on Legal Aid.

Ashmans Solicitors has an expert Family Law Team who can advise you about making an application for a Specific Issues Order or if an application for a Specific Issues Order has been made against you.

Contact us Now

You can get in touch with us in a number of ways. You can call us on 0333 009 6275, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

If you would prefer you can email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be delighted to help you.

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Why Choose Us for your Family Law case?

  • We work with legal aid clients and can assist with obtaining legal aid, if that is appropriate.
  • We offer you a free initial consultation.
  • We are always aware of the relevant laws and regulations relating to children, including patient confidentiality and medical treatment.
  • We have the sensitivity to understand the needs of a child when representing their interests.
  • We demonstrate the ability to represent our clients effectively.
  • We show commitment to representing the interests of clients, especially children.
  • Our experienced family law team will always put you and your child’s best interests first.
  • We have multi-lingual staff in all of our offices, who will give you immediate assistance.
  • You can be assured of competitive prices and a very high success rate.
  • We have an expert team of in-house family law specialists, each with many years of experience representing clients in family courts.
  • We are dedicated to providing the best possible legal advice and services to those going through difficult times.
  • Our understanding and experienced family solicitors can give you professional guidance and support on getting a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution. They’ll also advise on other options, such as legal separation.
  • If you’re being forced into a marriage against your will, we can help you to arrange a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
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