Specific Issue Order

There are certain circumstances where you will want to obtain a Court Order for a specific reason. The ability to ask for this type of Order is contained in Section 11(2)(e) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. There are certain circumstances where you will want to obtain a Court Order for a specific reason. The ability to ask for this type of Order is contained in Section 11(2)(e) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

Here are three of the most common situations where a Specific Issue Order is sought.

1. Taking child/children out with the UK on holiday

If both parents possess Parental Rights and Responsibilities you must obtain the other parent’s consent to take the child/children out with the United Kingdom. (Section 2(3) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995). If the parent fails to obtain that consent they could be guilty of the criminal offence of child abduction (Child Abduction Act 1984).

The best way to obtain consent from the other parent is in writing, either a letter or email. The most legally effective way is to enter into a Separation Agreement. This normally provides that either parent can take the child/children out with the United Kingdom for up to two weeks. You should also give appropriate notice of holidays to avoid any potential problems.

If the other parent refuses to consent then you must obtain a Specific Issue Order from your local court. These can be obtained fairly quickly but a lot depends on how busy the court is and how close the holiday is.

The court will only normally deny a Specific Issue Order if they determine that it would not be in the child/children’s best interests to travel abroad. Common reasons for refusal would be if there is a real risk that the child/children will not be returned after the holiday, if the parent making the request seeks to take the child/children to a country which is in civil turmoil or if the children (depending on their age) express a view that they do not want to go.

In order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of resolving matters at court, you should approach the other parent to discuss what is best for the children regarding holidays and enter into a written agreement. Generally, holidays are of great benefit to the children and their relationship with each parent. You should not deny your consent for personal reasons or anything else unconnected with the child/children’s welfare.

2. School

Another common example where a Specific Issue Order is sought pertains to disputes about where the child/children should attend school. If both parents cannot agree where that should be then the court will, as they do with every case involving children, consider what would be in the best interests of the child.

3. Relocation

One of the most complex and important situations where a parent seeks a Specific Issue Order is where they wish to relocate with the child/children to a different area, either in Scotland, the United Kingdom or further afield.

There can be a number of reasons as to why a parent wishes to relocate. It may be due to an employment opportunity, a new relationship or to be closer to family.

The court considers a myriad of factors when deciding if a relocation should be allowed. The best interests of the child/children are the paramount consideration and the various factors looked at all come back to this. As with other areas of family law, we have vast experience of cases involving Specific Issue Orders, whether we are seeking them or opposing them.

As with other areas of family law, we have vast experience of cases involving Specific Issue Orders, whether we are seeking them or opposing them.

To discuss matters further please contact us

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