Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Emergency prohibited steps order against me

(42 Posts)
veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 17:20:49

Can anyone help please?

I am in the process of divorcing my husband. We have a 4.5 year old daughter. I am planning to move into a 2 bed flat next week with her, but my husband told me I am not allowed to take her with me. He is extremely controlling. I have just issued divorce proceedings. Yesterday his solicitor wrote to mine to say that he wants shared residence. My solicitor wrote back today to say that because he's never looked after her, eg never bathed her, put her to bed or any other parenting tasks, and left it all to me, that I don't think he should lhave her overnight but he can have her during the day for a full day each weekend and twice after nursery 3.30 tilll 7pm.

The letter was faxed to them today and I just got a message that my husband's solicitor has got an emergency prohibited steps order without me knowing anything about it and it says I cannot remove my daughter from the house. The court is going to want us both to go back next Thursday.

Help! What should I do? I am getting the keys to the flat on Monday but of course won't leave my daughter so will stay in the house till the court makes up its mind, but what is likely to happen? I can't get in touch with my solicitor, he is in court this afternoon.

GypsyMoth Fri 28-Oct-11 17:23:18

Have you already been in court then as you say 'back' to court?

Let him have the overnights! He has to start somewhere with his 'learning ' 50:50 is quite normal.

What are his concerns?

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 17:24:53

No, I mean we'll both go to court next week, first time for me.

My daughter cries and cries if I'm not there to settle her. I don't understand why he applied for a PS order when yesterday he was just seeking overnight contact. He must have said something to the Judge that I don't know about.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:26:31

Goodness, this sounds like an abuse of the court's remit. A prohibited steps order is usually used to prevent a parent from taking a child abroad, not to keep them in the marital home! Who's told you about this if your solicitor is in court all afternoon??

GypsyMoth Fri 28-Oct-11 17:27:02

Like what? Are you likely to leave the country with her? Are you all British?

You need to consider the overnights, those are very weak objections. Your dd is almost 5. In school? Will she need to change schools? Could that be it?

DuelingFanjo Fri 28-Oct-11 17:27:15

it is reasonable for him to have overnight contact though, perhaps your daughter will need to get used to Daddy being a bit more hands on. What is their relationship like? Maybe it would be best for you to smooth the way for her and explain that it will be fun so that she doesn't have anxiety about it?

GypsyMoth Fri 28-Oct-11 17:27:52

No, pso can be used to object to removing a child from school, family etc

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 17:28:21

We aren't British but I'm very settled here. I'd already provided the address of the new place. She won't need to change school, she's going to be going to the prep school attached to the nursery after Christmas.

I was called by my solicitor's secretary.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:28:31

www.thecustodyminefield.com/Factsheets/QuickGuide-PSO-PR.pdf

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 17:29:26

As an example, when he picks her up from nursery, he locks his study door so she can't interrupt him PC gaming and leaves her in front of the tv, usually with her coat and shoes still on. He's never even taken her to the park.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:31:55

Have you seen proof of the order yourself or has he said that he has been given one?

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 17:33:21

His solicitor phoned mine, and the secretary phoned me.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:35:02

www.alsterskelley.com/downloads/06%20Children%20Issues%20-%20Prohibited%20Steps%20Information.pdf this is helpful, it's not enforcable unless you've been served.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:38:06

Is he in the family home now? It sounds like you need to stay there for the weekend and contact your solicitor on Monday morning.

babybarrister Fri 28-Oct-11 17:49:06

belledechocolate - I think that this is very dangerous advice indeed - no court would accept that a parent who is ON NOTICE of a PSO can avoid it by saying that they have not been personally served - to say it would colour all future proceedings is putting it mildly - I have had a client lose her children who decided to ignore a PSO and try to leave the country ....

OP you MUST obey the order - even if it is likely that it is an over reaction as you have "foreign connections" - it seems likely from what you have implied that it will be varied at the next hearing to allow you to move within the UK providing you provide the new address to ex/court.

you have a right to have copies of the statement and all other documents put to the court and a note of what went on during the hearing itself - no doubt you will get these on Monday

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:49:27

lexisweb.co.uk/sub-topics/prohibited-steps-orders He shouldn't have applied for a prohibited steps order, they are not to be used as a replacement for a residence order. If he wants your child to stay in the family home then he needs a residence order. I'd stay in the house until Monday to cover your back and speak to your solicitor first thing. You need to contact the Police if he causes problems, womens aid may be able to give you some advice tonight/over the weekend.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 17:50:55

babybarrister: I've told her to stay in the house and contact her solicitor on monday. That's obeying the order.

babybarrister Fri 28-Oct-11 17:53:29

we do not know whether the PSO is in "replacement" of a residence order or to prevent a move abroad as OP does not have a copy of the order - in the meantime she must comply with it - FWIW OP has not said how near the new flat is to the old flat - it certainly is possible to have a PSO to prevent an internal move within the UK as well as I have a client with one!

no doubt on Monday if there is no real concern of a move abroad and an address is provided and the new property is nearby, hopefully an agreement can be reached pending the Thursday hearing

in the meantime OP must obey the order or apply out of hours to a High Court Judge to have it discharged if it is so urgent and she cannot do so

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 18:16:17

The new flat is only about 5 miles from the family house. I am Armenian but have lived here for 11 years and have no wish to move out of the UK.

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 18:22:53

You don't get your new keys until Monday worried, you need to speak to your solicitor as soon as you can. They know a lot more about your situation so will be able to advise you on what to do next.

babybarrister Fri 28-Oct-11 18:54:08

I agree - contact them first thing - I suggest that you take your passport and your child's passport along to the meeting with them as if your solicitors hold them, this may put court's mind at ease. Do not panic. Have a look at the reunite website for more detailed information on the situation re Armenia and court orders. Good luck

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Fri 28-Oct-11 19:01:27

So you don't think he's trying to stop me leaving the house

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 19:08:33

As babybarriser has said, it's impossible to say what he's trying to do without seeing the order. It's best if you don't do anything because you just don't know what's on it. Try not to panic, you don't get the keys until Monday anyway so there's nothing you would be able to do over the weekend whether you're moving or not. Speak to your solicitor on Monday morning and take it from there.

Collaborate Sat 29-Oct-11 11:01:56

belledechocchipcookie: "it's not enforcable unless you've been served."

I agree with babybarrister. The order can be enforced against OP as soon as she is notified of its terms. She doesn't need to be served with a paper copy.

Sounds a bit extreme. But no ones seen a copy of the statement in support. And consider what OP would have needed to do had he given notice of his intention to move out with the child on Monday. I suspect he's applied for a residence order, and the PSO is to avoid changing the status quo until that's been sorted. If it's made again on Monday I'd be professionally shocked, unless there's more to it than we've been told.

veryworriedprohibitedsteps Mon 31-Oct-11 10:16:51

I have now seen the papers. He's applied for a prohibited steps order to prevent me from leaving the house. No mention of me taking her out of the country.

He's also applied for a residence order, and that will go to Court, but haven't got a date yet.

So my solicitor is doing a statement today to refute what he's said in his statement (that I'm mad - I am getting counselling for low self esteem and feelings of worthlessness). My solicitor says that although he will try his hardest to convince the Judge on Thursday that teh PS order should be taken off, the judge may refuse as if I am free to take my daughter away from her dad, that is a de facto interim residence order and the judge may want to keep the status quo. Solicitor says it may be a year before residence is decided. I don't know what to do, I've paid the deposit on the house and three months rent in advance.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now