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Lawyer21, CILEx Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  CILEx Lawyer
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If there is no court order / child arrangement order yet,

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If there is no court order / child arrangement order yet, and I allow my ex to have visitation of a child with my presence in my home, can they grab the child and leave with it?

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I will read your question and respond

Your ex cannot just grab the child and leave with it without your consent particularly if you are both named on the child's birth certificate and have equally have parental responsibility for the child.

If there are any safeguarding issues your child neglect you need to inform Family social services.

Thank you

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To prevent this from happening and/or to resolve such an issue, you should apply for a Child Arrangements Order/Prohibited Steps Order.

In order to apply to the court, you will need to fill out and send form C100 (copy attached) with a cheque of £215 payable to HMCTS to your local family court centre. Or you can ring the court and pay over the phone (or pay in person if you go directly to the court and pay at the counter).

If you are on low income/have low savings you can apply for a fee exemption here:

The court will order arrangements for you to see them on specified days and for how long if you cannot agree this with your ex partner. You can also ask for joint custody so they live with you for part of the week if you wish.

If custody (shared or full custody) is to be considered then the welfare checklist of the child is relevant :

Once you apply the court will list a hearing where you and your ex attends. There will be a family advisor there too (from Cafcass) and if arrangements can be agreed then a consent order will be drawn up.

The Child Arrangements Order and Prohibited Steps Order can be applied on the same form.

Thank you for your question today

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply,Yes we are both named on the birth certificate and a court arrangement can be made. The only reason for my question is I do not want to deprive the other parent from seeing the child for even 1 day as I do not think it's fair so would like to be able to allow them to visit without the risk that they will take the child from my home.Please can you explain what I should do if they do grab the child and attempt to leave without my consent?Thank you.

You can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order under S8 of the Children Act 1989. This type of order prohibits the activity of one single issue and restricts that activity from being carried out. For example, this could be preventing one parent from removing the child from school, changing a child’s name/surname or removing the child from the country.

If you are separated or going through separation and find yourself in a situation where your former partner is making threats to carry out an activity, such as the examples above, then you may apply to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent them from doing so.

It should be noted that when the Court considers an application for a Prohibited Steps Order, the child’s welfare will be the Courts paramount consideration, as is the case when applying for any orders relating to children. To apply for a Order, the person applying will need to file a C100 application form.

The order can also be applied for on an emergency basis. However, in order for an urgent application to be successful, there must be strong evidence or an imminent threat. In these circumstances, the application is made ‘without notice’. This means that the respondent would not be aware that the order is being made and nor would they be present at the hearing. If an order is granted on this basis, the Court will list a further ‘return’ hearing when the respondent will be required to attend once they have been served with the application and emergency order made.

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry but it doesn't seem to answer the question that I have.From what I understand if there is no court order in place, neither parent owns the child, therefore either parent can take the child and bring it to live with them, it is then up to the other party if they disagree with this to initiate mediation / court proceedings.So for example, if the child is currently living with parent 'A' but parent 'B' takes the child out WITH consent for contact but then decides the child should live with them and instead of returning the child moves it to parents 'B' address, then parent 'B' states to parent 'A' that they can visit parent 'B' property for visitation. Can parent 'B' then allow visitation but in any way stop parent 'A' leaving the premises with the child until court hearings have been completed?

If there are safeguarding issues then Parent B can stop Parent A from taking the child and/or apply for a Emergency Specific issues order to prevent Parent A from leaving the premises with the child and bring your concerns to the family court judge.

A specific issue order is an order granted by the family court often involving a decision being made over children where parents with parental responsibility cannot agree. It is also known as a section 8 order.

A specific issue order can be made in disputes surrounding the following circumstances:

  • Whether a child should change their name
  • Decisions on a child’s education and what school they should attend
  • Whether a certain medical treatment or surgery should be undertaken
  • Whether they should have any religious education
  • Permanently taking a child abroad and
  • Preventing someone from having contact with a child.

I will send you a link how to apply.

Thank you

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