Specific Issue Order

A specific issue order is a flexible order under section 8 Children Act 1989 that resolves a range of issues relating to the exercise of parental responsibility and upbringing of a child.

Disputes about a specific issue for a child can have wide-ranging legal, practical, emotional and financial implications. They can have particularly complex dynamics in modern family, international and assisted reproduction cases involving a co-parent, surrogate, inter-family or known donation and a blended family where expectations, time spent with the child, legal status and identity can also be at issue.

Disputes about a specific issue include whether: 

  • A child should be informed about their biological origins or assisted conception.
  • A child should change their gender.
  • A child’s name should be legally changed.
  • A child can permanently relocate within the UK or abroad.
  • A child should undergo specific medical treatment or an immunisation.
  • A child should be privately educated or attend a particular school.

Parents, step-parents with parental responsibility, guardians, special guardians and an individual who is named in a child arrangements order as a person with whom the child is to live can apply for a specific issue order. Other individuals require the court’s permission to make an application for a specific issue order.

In determining a specific issue order application, the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration. The court must also take into account a range of legal factors known as ‘the statutory checklist’ contained in section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989 and any other factors that it considers relevant. Specific issue orders can be made in conjunction with other family orders (e.g. a child arrangements order).

Legal packages

Package One

Specific issue for a child – legal review

This provides tailored expert legal advice under English family law about a specific issue for a child. It

  • Advises on a wide range of issues including: holiday and travel arrangements, education, religious upbringing, medical issue or treatment, relocation, a child’s name or identity.

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss a specific issue/order for a child contact us.

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

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