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Vines Legal's A-Z of All Things Family and Matrimonial; S for Section 8 Orders

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Welcome to our Alphabet Information Series.  Today’s topic is S for Section 8 Orders

Section 8 Orders sounds technical and official but simply put, they are four orders set out under the Children Act (1989), later amended by the Children and Families Act (2014). These Orders are set out specifically to help resolve issues relating to children, following a marriage or relationship breakdown, which are often the most sensitive and difficult to resolve.

The Section 8 Orders 

  • Child Arrangement Order – this is an Order that regulates the arrangements relating to: -

-    with whom the child should live- previously known as ‘residence’ or ‘custody’; and

-    when a child should spend time with the other parent- previously known as ‘contact’ or ‘access’.

  • Prohibited Steps Order – To prevent someone, not necessarily a parent, from carrying out a particular action without the court’s agreement. For example; removing a child from the jurisdiction, having contact with a named individual, or changing a child’s surname. These orders can normally only be made in relation to a child under 16.
  • Specific Issue Order – Usually relating to education questions, medical decisions and holidays, these resolve a single issue that has or may arise in respect of a child’s upbringing.

Who Can Ask For A Section 8 Order?

There are those who have automatic permission to apply for an Order, such as parents, guardians or those with parental responsibility. This, however, is not an exhaustive list as there are additional categories of people who may automatically apply for an order. If you do not fall within these criteria then you will need to ask the Court first for permission to apply for an order.

What Needs To Be Considered?

When deciding on Section 8 Orders, Judges must consider the ‘Welfare Checklist’ set out in Section 1 of the Children Act (1989). The following aspects must be taken into account:

  • The wishes of the child, taking into account age and understanding,
  • Physical, emotional and educational needs,
  • The likely effect of any change in circumstances,
  • Age, gender, background,
  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at possible risk of suffering,
  • The capability of each parent and any other person the court considers relevant, of meeting the child’s needs, and
  • The range of powers available to the court.

Obtaining accurate legal advice and representation is important in securing a Section 8 Order that is most beneficial to you and your child/ren.  If you would like more information about these child related orders; or if you need advice and help with your specific situation please contact us on 01246 555610 for a free consultation where one of our experienced solicitors will be able to assist you. 

By Vines Legal on 17 Dec 2019, 12:44 PM

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