Home > The Court Process > Specific Issue Orders

Specific Issue Orders

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Nov 2019 |
 
Specific Issue Order Court Child Family

Specific Issue Orders, much like the name suggests, are orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on, such as:

        
  • Whether your child or children should change their name(s)
  • Decisions pertaining to their education
  • Whether they should have a particular medical treatment or operation
  • Whether they should receive religious or non-religious education
  • Taking the child to live abroad on a permanent basis
  • Preventing someone from having contact with your child

What the Court Will Do

As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Applications for a Specific Issue Order are heard before a judge and a representative from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services Officer), who is a qualified social worker. In the first instance, this meeting will endeavour to reach an agreement between the parents as to how to determine the issue. This needs the consent of both parents, which can often be impossible if there have been allegations of domestic violence.

Court's Discretion to Make Order of its Own Volition

It is important to note that a magistrate or judge may make a Specific Issue Order of their own volition. This is generally in situations in which the judge is satisfied that there is a risk that the parent in question may go ahead with a particular course of action without seeking the other’s consent. In other circumstances, and only if there are grounds to do so, the judge or magistrate may make a Specific Issue Order if the responsible parent is acting in an inappropriate way. This could relate to, for example, taking the child to places that are not deemed suitable for children, or leaving them in the care of a person who is unsuitable for childcare.

Directions For Hearing

If this meeting does not prove productive, the parents and the Cafcass officer, along with any solicitors representing either party, go before the District Judge or magistrates in order to obtain directions for a trial. Usually both parents submit witness statements, and the Cafcass officer (which could be the same person as before, but not necessarily) will then interview both parents and prepare a report. If possible, the Cafcass officer should see the child in the company of each of the parents.

Full Hearing

If the case then goes to a final hearing, each parent will give evidence in the Family Court and will be asked questions under oath by the opposing side. It is commonplace for the Cafcass officer’s report to settle matters before the final hearing happens and it is quite rare for a judge to find against the recommendations made in the report. If this happens, the judge must provide reasons for doing so. If the judge has made an error of law in coming to this decision, you can challenge the decision by way of judicial review. This is a complicated legal procedure, however, and you should always seek legal advice before embarking on such a claim. For more information, see the page on www.CourtroomAdvice.co.uk.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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For the record i do care about my teenage daughter .i do worry about her .because I do think( now )as I am older her mother is (incompetent) and I do think I could rasie her better .and there a fathers these days (doing it serously ).I am (stand up guy my reputation speaks for it self ). and I would be proud to have my daughter full time .away from her incompetent mother.i would have to change my single men lifestyle get our own house together but it could be done .21 century studies show fathers make better parents .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 9:48 PM
Truth is my posts were from a (different time )and don’t make( sense now) and most definitely (my daughter would not understand ).because it really is a different time now .i am just a rambling fool that has a lower iq then people at the endeavour foundation .and can’t work out why my daughter wants nothing to do with me ?.thats right I threatenedto kill her mother and called her a two bit harlot junkie .so yeah that might not go down to well .dam thatsit I should have got a solicitor.
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 9:23 PM
Truth is I do have a teenage daughter .(scary) how old she is to be honest I think she is 14 or 15 around that age .last time I seen her she was 5 so there is a massive difference.and most likely nothing like the (little girl I remember ).time flys bye .sorry for all the stupid posts .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 8:55 PM
I was just venting .there is no way I would go to (jail or ever commit murder )i am a good person .just a average semi normal bloke down on he’s luck with a side off anxiety and a slash off lonely and hopefully not unemployed for to long .other then that life is swell .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 8:26 PM
The mother off my child thinks I have depression anxiety, autistic delusional .if she wants the truth (I will give to her )I went (quite )because I was going kill her and Gordon and big Tyson and bury them on my property have a party then hand myself in to the police .i weighed it up and was content with it I would get three meals day a tv gym to work out in other outlaws to keep me on my toes . down side there is no women but that never bothered me .I was thinking I could make jail my home .and get my (revenge )on all the bastards who thought they had one up on me .so if that’s makes me crazy well I am crazy then .ps bree’s mother keep your distance darling it’s very easy for me to go the other way if you know what mean wink wink .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 3:57 AM
If the mother off my child reads this .she might think I am (delusional ,autistic under the influence off drugs or booze).truth is I am none off those things .this is gods truthand my real feelings .she is the only person I have wanted to (murder )and I am quite happy to spent the rest off my life in jail for gods truth it might sound like a cliche but I am (100 percent serous ).so she best keep her distance from me .because she is (very lucky )I didn’t follow though with it I mean that .and if I seen her again I really don’t know if could stop myself from (killing her ).so it’s best to stay away and for her daughter to make up her own mind in the future if she wants to see me and if she doesn’t and wants to remove surname go for it .and if she wants to stand with someone like her mother they deserve each other .final post
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 3:21 AM
(If the mother off my child reads this ?.)you hurt me (beyond belief you almostkilled me gods truth ).in my book you are (no good you are trouble) and I will never talk to her again and if she thinks this isa game (think again ).i will never (hurt her )but I never want to (see her again gods truth and this will never change even if I am (70 years off age ).my door is only open for her (daughter but it’s up her now to come see me she is no kid anymore ).and if she doesn’t well my story is exactly the same as timmys .thanks for your blog .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 2:21 AM
I thank your blog though out my (melt down ).i have found my strength again have a strong understanding off the situation.truth is we all probably go though some sort off melt down at lease once in our life’s .i sure did it really dropped me to knees.i guess I am like Timmy .on a brighter note he is married now and settled down and us found peace off not seeing he’s children and understands he will never see them again .i can honestly say I am all most there now but still have hope one day she will come see me .it most likely will (never happen) but it’s alway good to have a little hope in this world .thanks for your Blog it helped me though a (angry hurt and crazy emotional time) .i will leave you all in peace now .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 1:41 AM
@tassie.i know i have said this before .but this is my final post .the reality is I will never see my daughter again .i am not crying about it because no (one cares) .been helpful this blog but for me it’s to (late )to see my daughter .(i hope )when she is growen up she comes to see me (fingers crossed) .in the mean time I will just get on with my life .and if the mother off my child reads this the gods truth is (I will never talk to her again if I seen her in the street I would walk the other way) .so best off luck to all the fathers out there trying to see there children .All I have now is hope one day she comes to see me .
C.laurie - 25-Oct-19 @ 12:01 AM
@tassie.(i am not like that now )I was young back then still immature reckless and silly .(I did learn from that experience and paid the price) .i never got to see my daughter grow up never been to One off her sport matches never got the change to teach her drive .like other (better fathers )then me who where (mature enough )to get a solicitor for rights to there children .where I was paying criminal solicitors to keep me out off jail instead off paying family solicitor to get me my rights to my daughter .and they are not (cheap ).i do see my mistakesnow .
C.laurie - 24-Oct-19 @ 1:36 AM
@tassie.many years ago I had bad breakup it was (coming for years )to be honest .I handled things the wrong way I was aggressive and under the influence off drugs and alochol frequently (at the time ) .and got in sum (serous trouble )with the police .i was very close to going to jail gods truth I was put on probation I (seriously injured my arm )was in and out off the lockup that frequently I was on first name basis with the officers gods truth.and (blow my chances )at having visitation with my daughter .and it might sound like a (cop out) I had that many court cases over a 6 month period for dv and other driving charges assault charge on a police officer .once I got throw all that and given my sentence.I was (done with court rooms )that’s why I never went to court for visitation .i needed a break from court rooms .so the meaning off my story is (don’t do what i did )and you father out there have a better chance in the court room for visitation that’s my advice.
C.laurie - 24-Oct-19 @ 12:55 AM
@tassie.after reading your story and countless others .the negativity the accusations the police involvement.thats the reason I walked away in a (nut shell) .all I can say is I made the right decision.all I can say is her mother and partner can rasie them i am done for good .they want to (plays games )with me (now )they will (lose that’s gods truth )because (one thing this world did do to me change me )to the point nothing bothers or scares me anymore .the way I see it they have drama off teenagers they have to support them .(not me )so I might think differently to most men I don’t know or care.
C.laurie - 23-Oct-19 @ 9:47 PM
Hello. my ex partner is filling my daughters head with her being autistic. my daughter has been assessed and cleared. but her mother is collecting information from the Internet in front of my daughter. is this a form of grooming and emotional abuse. ???
tazzie - 23-Oct-19 @ 5:26 PM
My Ex has recently moved to the other side of the country because of her new partner. Because of this I'm not able to see him nearly as often as I was. I asked to be kept in the loop about how he's doing up there with childminder and school etc but she won't tell me anything saying I can hear it from my son, he's only 4 years old. She refuses to o give me contact details so I can gone phone them myself too. I don't want to hear it from him, I want to hear it from the people caring for him so I know how he's actually getting on. Is there anything I can do through the courts so I can have more rights to know how my son is doing?
Wayne - 18-Jun-19 @ 4:41 PM
Hi My ex wife don't share with me school results and next steps in future. My son is Asperger 14 years old is ending 9 year. We have a Education Health and care plan, I ask about, she refuse to share with me. What I should do? regards
JC - 14-Jun-19 @ 9:31 AM
Hi all me and my wife have splittrecently 2 years ago went to court and had signed agreement in court that no e of us can take kids abroad without others signed letter my wife won't let me take kids on holliday and won't even let them sleep over at my place her excuseis they are too small son is 9 and daughter is 6 cam any o e advise in similar situationhow ever I did let her take kids abroad and I was fine withshe has boomed another holliday just found out from my son but really don't want to stop my kids from gav I g their holliday can any o e advise pls what to do we do have court order in place
Tom21 - 26-May-19 @ 8:38 PM
My ex-partner wants to send my son to a nursery that I don't agree with we both sat down and tried to come to an agreement the ex-partner is adamant that she will be sending my son to the nursery that she wants she is saying that I cannot have a saycan someone give me some advice
Dad - 13-Mar-19 @ 6:17 PM
Hi, my partner's ex wants us to start doing the school run on the days she has the children. We already take responsibility for pick up and drop off on the days the children are with us, but she now wants us to pick the kids up from her house, take them to school. Pick up from school on a night and drop back off at her house. We offered we could have the children extra days and do the school run on our days but says no to doing it on he days. Are we correct in saying this?
Lilly - 5-Mar-19 @ 2:47 PM
My ex partner has decided to move into her new partners property with my son but her partner is currently in prison for domestic violence. I am worried for my child who is three as he has 12 convictions on his record and drugs offences. Also I have always had my child in a routine where I had him 3 night's a week only for my ex last week to inform me when I was on my way to get him that she had moved my child and taken him out of a school he was settled in this was by text message. My ex was in a relationship with this man a week after he was arrested for breaking his ex partners nose and collerbone they spent 7 weeks together before he was sentenced to 2 years 3 months in prison. Since he has been in prison she has moved into his property and I am so concerned aboutmy son's safety when He's out can you help
Mulit - 26-Jan-19 @ 10:10 PM
Hi, my partner is adamant they are taking our child out of their current school, which they put our child in to suit them as their partner was living in that area, however now they have split from their partner they want to move our child to a new school where they are now living, what can be done?
Lsuth - 27-Aug-18 @ 7:03 PM
My ex partner is getting married soon and we have 2 children together and they have my surname. She wants to change our children surname to her new married name which I am against as she has no right too what can I do to stop this from happening? I am on both birth certificate pay Matenaice and see them regularly. Just really need some advice.
Jay - 26-Aug-18 @ 9:14 AM
Scott - Your Question:
Hi, just after some direction with reference to holidays, I’m getting married abroad soon however, my ex partner is refusing to let my 5 year old daughter come, I’m on the birth certificate, pay maintenance and have always see my daughter, she has taken her out of country twice and never asked permission, just hoping to find my next steps, thank you

Our Response:
If your ex continues to refuse you taking your child out of the country, you would have to ask permission from the courts. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-18 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, just after some direction with reference to holidays, I’m getting married abroad soon however, my ex partner is refusing to let my 5 year old daughter come, I’m on the birth certificate, pay maintenance and have always see my daughter, she has taken her out of country twice and never asked permission, just hoping to find my next steps, thank you
Scott - 16-Aug-18 @ 6:29 PM
Missherhappiness - Your Question:
Ex partner who I still live with has stolen our children’s passports from my private belongings. He knows they were to take a trip in two weeks and is refusing to hand them back. There has Violence in the home and the police were involved. They are saying the passports are a civil matter and not a police matter. What can I do?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, your only option is to apply to court to have the passports returned. However, it is unlikely your case would be heard before your due date of travel.
SeparatedDads - 27-Jul-18 @ 2:16 PM
Ex partner who I still live with has stolen our children’s passports from my private belongings.He knows they were to take a trip in two weeks and is refusing to hand them back.There has Violence in the home and the police were involved. They are saying the passports are a civil matter and not a police matter. What can I do?
Missherhappiness - 24-Jul-18 @ 12:00 PM
Can i use mediation to get a court order from the courts. So i can get passports done as my ex isnt responding so i can take my girls abroad as hes on the birth certificate?
Tasha - 22-Jun-18 @ 7:53 PM
Can i use mediation to have a court order to get permission from the courts to take my kids passports and take them abroad?
Tasha - 22-Jun-18 @ 7:49 PM
awi - Your Question:
Hi,My wife is seprated from year and half.she took my 4 years son for holidays out of uk without informing me.when I ask her where she is taking him.she refuse to tell.can you advice me what can I do about it.

Our Response:
If you have parental responsibility, then your ex should have asked your permission before she left the country, please see link here. If you have PR and wish to prevent this happening again, you can apply to court. As stated in the article, as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 22-Jun-18 @ 9:12 AM
Hi, My wife is seprated fromyear and half...she took my 4 years son for holidays out of uk without informing me ..when i ask her where she is taking him ..she refuse to tell...can you advice me what can i do about it...
awi - 21-Jun-18 @ 1:50 AM
Jason Swift - Your Question:
I was hoping you can give me some advise.my ex is trying to stop me seeing my daughter, we both have parental responsible, can she stop me from seeing my daughter thanks

Our Response:
If your ex attempts to stop you seeing your child, then you would have to go through the process listed here .
SeparatedDads - 11-Jun-18 @ 10:58 AM
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