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When Enough is Enough!

What should you do if your ex-partner makes repeated and unnecessary applications to the Family Court in respect of your children?  You should take advice from a solicitor who specialises in family law.

In appropriate situations we advise our clients about section 91(14) of the Children Act 1989.  Under section 91(14) the court may make an order that a person is prevented from making any further application under the Children Act without leave of the court.  This can bring a welcome respite to a family who have found themselves repeatedly having to deal with court applications.

The courts have repeatedly emphasised that a section 91(14) barring order is to be made “sparingly” and with “great care”.  The courts have emphasised that the purpose of section 91(14) barring orders is “to prevent unnecessary and disruptive applications being made to the court”.

If a person has made repeated and unreasonable applications to the Family Court with no hope of success, the court may well require that person to obtain permission before making any future applications. In those circumstances the person making the applications must have crossed the line between a reasonable applicant to one who is making unreasonable applications which have become oppressive.  Ultimately the courts overriding concern is the welfare of the child(ren) and the court may even make an order barring a person if this can be shown to be in the child’s best interests even if there have not been repeated or previous vexatious applications.

As expected, the courts state that the duration of the barring order needs to be proportionate to the harm that it is designed to avoid.   This will need to be carefully considered by the Family Court in relation to the circumstances of the case.

At SHU Law we take great care in priding ourselves on the tailored advice that we give to our clients.

David Marsh – Family Law Solicitor

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