Financial & Legal News

Preventing multiple family court applications with a Barring Order

  • Posted on

Being repeatedly subjected to applications in court over child care arrangements and provisions following the court's determined arrangements can often be a pattern of behaviour with a controlling ex-partner – but a Barring Order can prevent unnecessary anguish for both the respondent parent and children.

Emily Gardner, a paralegal in our divorce and family law department, explains what a barring order is and why it is sometimes required.

What is a Barring Order?

A barring order under Section 91 (14) Children Act Order allows the court within the Children Act applications to restrict individuals from making further applications to a court without the court’s permission, for example, to prevent instances where abusive ex-partners have attempted to repeatedly bring victims back to court for no reasonable purpose. These are usually considered after the conclusion of the case but an early application should be considered.

Section 91A provides that the circumstances in which the court may make such an order include where the court is satisfied that the making of a further application under that act, by any person to be named in the order, would put the child concerned, or another individual, at risk of harm.

It also makes clear that in determining whether to grant leave to a person who has received a barring order, the court must consider whether there has been a material change of circumstances since the barring order was made.

Our Family Solicitors regularly advises clients who need a barring order to help them and their families.

“The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 amended the Children Act 1989 and these changes made it clearer that barring orders are available to parents and children to protect those where further proceedings would risk causing them harm, particularly where proceedings could be a form of continuing domestic abuse,” she advised.

“The courts will be required to consider carefully whether the circumstances that gave rise to the barring order have materially changed such that permission to apply should be granted. This will offer further protection,” said Emily.

How long does a barring order last?

Essentially, a barring order can be made for any length of time, including until the child reaches maturity. The length of time will be determined by the Family Court in light of the specific facts of the case.

A barring order does not prevent an application from being made but ensures that a Judge has to consider the merits of the application before the substantive proceedings progress. This should alleviate any additional stress of the proceedings.

“Until now Judges only make a barring order in cases where there have been numerous applications to the court,” said Emily

“From now on, Judges are encouraged to take into account wider circumstances and consider specifically whether court proceedings concerning children are actually being used as a weapon of conflict or “lawfare” as a Judge put it.  I suspect that this will lead to more applications being made for barring orders and a greater willingness by the Family Courts to use them.”

“Judges want to send a message that children need to be able to live their lives without the pressure of knowing they are the subject of court proceedings unless that is unavoidable,” added Emily Gardner.

How can we help

For legal advice on Divorce or matters regarding Children or Domestic Abuse contact our Family Law Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

    Request a call back

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    We’ll only use this information to handle your enquiry and we won’t share it with any third parties.