Specific Issue Orders

When it comes to legally making decisions that can affect a child for the rest of their life, it’s usually people with the parental responsibility of the child that has an input on the choice.

However, it is possible to not have this type of child custody and still be involved in the decision-making. You can do this by asking the Court for a specific issue order.

Here at 1Solicitors, we understand that disputes may arise as a result of requesting a specific issue order. For that reason, we have specially trained legal professionals that are able to assist you when applying for a specific issue order, helping to minimise the friction that could potentially occur between parents.

What is a specific issue order?

Specific issue orders are sought by a family court by those looking to make a significant change to the child’s life. Some of these circumstances can include:

  • Specific issue orders for change of name
  • Decisions on the child’s education, including a specific issue order for school
  • A child’s religious upbringing
  • Specific issue orders for holidays

You’re also able to apply for a specific issue order holiday if you’re looking to take a child out of the country. Remember that if you take a child abroad without having parental responsibility of them (or being granted permission from somebody who does), you risk facing a charge of child abduction.

Do I need a specific issue order to change my child’s name?

Yes, if you do not currently have parental responsibility of the child.

How likely is the court to accept my specific issue order request?

This is a difficult question to answer as the reasoning behind an application can vary. A qualified solicitor will be able to answer this question based on the circumstances surrounding your case.

Who can apply for a specific issue order?

Anyone who has parental responsibility of a child is able to apply for a specific issue order, as well as anyone named in a Child Arrangements Order as the person who the child is living with. Grandparents are also able to apply.

If you’re not related to the child or named as their special guardian, you will need permission from your local family court to make an application for a specific issue order.

How to get a specific issue order

Similar to many other family law cases, you are unable to take a specific order issue to Court if you cannot prove that an agreement couldn’t be made between the people involved. This means that if you’re looking to escalate your specific issue order case, you must be able to provide evidence that supports this through a Family Mediation and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

If this meeting fails to result in an agreement, separate meetings with each party will then be held to see if a trained mediator can set-out clear terms. If this is unsuccessful again, you will need to submit an application on a specific court form.

On this form, you’ll need to list:

  • Details of all people involved, including children
  • The reasoning behind your application, such as a specific issue order for change of name, as well as why you’re wanting this to happen

The application will then be shared with any adults involved and all parties will be invited to a court hearing to discuss the case further.

How does the court decide on a specific issue order?

Under the Children Act 1989, the Court must decide whether or not to grant a specific issue order based on the welfare of the child. This is the most important factor and can take the following things into consideration:

  • The likely effect or impact that the child will experience as a result of the order
  • The feelings and wishes of the child, if they’re old enough to have a say
  • The potential risk of harm of suffering if the order is granted
  • The capability of the person applying for the order

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why you may want to submit an application for a specific issue order. Here at 1Solicitors, we have a qualified team of child law solicitors that are knowledgeable on this type of order, allowing you to experience the best possible chance of success.

To discuss your case further with our team and be offered 24/7 legal support, contact us today. We care about the safety, wellbeing and welfare of the child involved and we’re passionate about finding a solution that works for them, as well as yourself.


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