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Checklist for an emergency application for a Prohibited Steps Order (where there is a risk of the children being abducted abroad and the parent applying does not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford a solicitor)

This guide would normally apply when there is the risk of a parent or other family member intending to permanently remove the children abroad, and where removal is imminent.

  1. Find out where your local family court is using the HMCS Court Finder Site.
    Once on that website, enter in your region under ´Court Region Search´. Set the court type to Children. Choose the court which is closest to where you or your children live and print the details.
  2. Complete Form C100, print and sign three copies of the forms. Ask that the children´s passports be seized and held by the court if there is a risk that the other relocating parent may ignore the prohibited steps order.
  3. The fee for an application for a Prohibited Steps Order is currently £215. Take a cheque, postal order or cash for that amount when you go to the court.
  4. It will assist both you and the judge if you write a brief Position Statement. Try to keep the position statement to two to three pages, using brief paragraphs to set out why you are applying to the court, and what you wish the court to do.
  5. If there is risk of the children being abducted abroad: Find recent photographs of the children (and the other parent) and their passport numbers if you have them. If the judge accepts that the risk of emigration is imminent, and the children may be taken abroad without your or the court´s consent, the judge may order an ´all ports warning´. This alerts points of exit from the UK such as airports and ports that the children should not be allowed to leave the UK. You might also ask that court officers take possession of the children´s passports.
  6. Before setting off for the court building, ensure you have with you:
    1. Three completed and signed copies of Form C100;
    2. The cash, cheque or postal order to pay the court fee;
    3. Three copies of your Position Statement.
  7. Before leaving home, empty your pockets or bags of anything non essential (or embarrassing!). At the court building, you will go through a metal detector, have to empty your pockets, and are likely to have your bags searched.
  8. Print one further copy of the front sheet of the Form C100, and have the court staff stamp this to confirm receipt of the documents.
  9. Take change for parking.

The following guides may also assist you:

International Child Abduction Emergency Hearings Parental Responsibility Prohibited Steps Orders

It is not uncommon for the parent wishing to emigrate with the children, to then make a counter application for the court´s permission to take the children abroad. In this event, you may wish to read our guide on ´Leave to Remove´:

Leave to Remove

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Michael Robinson © 2014

Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales

Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's printer for Scotland.

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