When Would I Apply For A Specific Issue Order?
As mentioned, the scope of a specific issue order is wide to ensure the court can respond to the endless disputes that may arise when raising a child. Below, we have included three of the most common reasons a specific issue order is granted, but keep in mind these are just an example.
Schooling is a common point of contention for separated parents. Perhaps an agreement has been made for a non-religious upbringing, yet one parent wants to send them to a religious school. Maybe one parent wants to move the child to a school closer to their home, away from a school they are settled in.
Ultimately, if parents can’t agree on where a child should go to school then the court will make the decision on their behalf prioritising what they feel best supports the child’s welfare. Keep in mind that where all other factors are considered equal, the court tends to try and maintain the status quo.
A common reason for seeking a specific issue order is when one parent wants to relocate their child due to new family circumstances, a new job, and various other dilemmas. Regardless of whether this is another area of Scotland, the UK, or the world, this cannot be done without court approval assuming the other parent does not consent.
Again, the court will prioritise the best interests of the child when making this decision. They will consider how the child’s life will be benefitted by the relocation. However, the relocating party would need to show a clear and objective improvement to the child’s life to overcome the court’s tendency to prefer the status quo.
Regardless of whether you are seeking a specific issue order to relocate your child or are looking to oppose one, our team of solicitors will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible result for your individual case.
3. Holiday Arrangements
Any parent who shares parental rights and responsibilities with someone else must have their permission to remove a child from the UK, even for a holiday. Failure to do this can, in extreme cases, be considered an offence of child abduction.
Naturally approaching the other parent and getting permission in writing should be the first port of call. Otherwise, you will need to apply to the court for a specific issue order. If you don’t want the other parent to remove the child from the country for whatever reason, you will need to oppose it in court.
The court will generally grant the order relatively quickly if they feel it is in the child’s best interests to go abroad. However, some common reasons as to why the court might deny the order would be if:
- The destination is in turmoil and presents risk or danger.
- There is a risk the travelling parent will not return the child to the UK.
- The child is old enough to express that they do not want to go.
If you can’t get permission to take your child on holiday, or have a valid reason to stop your child from going on holiday with the other parent, get in touch with our team today.
How Long Does It Take a Specific Issue Order to be Granted?
The length of time taken for the court to grant a specific issue order depends on numerous different factors. For example:
- How busy the court is.
- The urgency of the situation.
- Timescales of the process.
It is worth noting that in emergency situations, such as an imminent risk the other parent is going to leave the country with your child, we can apply for an urgent court order which can be granted on the very same day.
Can a Specific Issue Order Let Me Break a Separation Agreement?
The best interests of a child are at the heart of any decision a court makes. As such, it is possible for the court to allow one parent to break a separation agreement if it offers a tangible benefit to the welfare of the child.
For example, you might have primary residency rights and have an opportunity to move elsewhere to be closer to family with a significant wage rise. Our team will help you convince the court that you should be allowed to move.
Similarly, if the other parent has sought a specific issue order which breaks the separation agreement and it is not in the best interests of the child, we object to the order on your behalf arguing that the child’s welfare is best supported by maintaining the status quo.
What is the “No Order Principle”?
As mentioned, the court will always have the child’s welfare as their paramount consideration. Operating under the “no order principle” means that they have a duty not to grant a specific issue order unless it would be better for the child that the order is granted.
As such, any dispute in court over a specific issue order revolves around both parties making their arguments as to why the order would or would not benefit the child.
Can I Apply for a Specific Issue Order Without Parental Rights and Responsibilities?
Anyone who has parental rights and responsibilities can apply for a specific issue order. However, so can anyone who claims an interest in the child. For example, this might include siblings, grandparents and other relatives or medical practitioners.
Get In Touch
Regardless of the specifics facts of your case, whether or not you are applying for an order or opposing one, or whether the order involves one child or multiple children, one constant in every single case is the need for a reliable, experienced solicitor.
At Kee Solicitors our team will consider every detail of your case and advise on the various legal options you have available and what we feel will provide the best possible result in terms of your situation and personal preferences.
To speak to our team today, give us a call on 0141 611 1191.
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Kee Solicitors are a specialist family law firm and are here to help you with any questions.