Revised 22 April 2014
Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 outlines the orders which can be issued by the court with respect to resolving disputes over children. These orders have become known as Section 8 Orders.
Notably, these orders are not granted to the local authority. They are for the resolution of family disputes and are aspects of private law.
The Children Act makes it very clear that these orders are not to be sought as the first option and that all efforts should be made to resolve problems voluntarily. Only when there has been no resolution of the matter should these Court Orders be sought, and only then if they will be of positive benefit to the child.
Originally, four different types of Order were laid down in Section 8. With the advent of the Children and Families Act 2014, these were reduced to three, Contact Orders and Residence Orders being replaced by Child Arrangements Orders:
“Section 8 Orders” refer to any of the above orders, or any order varying or discharging such an order.
What Are the Different Types of Section 8 Orders?
A “child arrangements order” gives the Court’s decision in terms of an order regulating arrangements concerning with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact and when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.
A “prohibited steps order” gives the Court’s decision in terms of restricting the exercise of full parental responsibility without specific consent of the court, where it is believed that this responsibility would be abused and not exercised to the benefit of the child. For instance such an order may prohibit contact with the child except by prior arrangement and under supervision, where there is concern the child may be harmed or abducted.
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A “specific issue order” gives the Court’s directions in answer to a disagreement that has arisen with regard to the exercising of parental responsibility for the child.
When an application is made to the court for a section 8 order the court takes into account: the nature of the proposed application; the connection the person has to the child; the disruption that could be caused to the child and, if the child is being looked after by the local authority: the local authorities plans for the child’s future and the wishes of the child’s parents.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If you feel that Section 8 Orders have been unjustly issued against you or need assistance in applying to the court for such an order, and to see how we can help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.