This article reviews the development over the last 20 years of the section 8 powers under the Children Act 1989. In particular, it examines residence, especially shared residence, contact, prohibited steps and specific issue orders. In respect of each order, the review compares the current position with what was originally intended and more generally anticipated. The article concludes that whereas prohibited steps and specific issue orders have broadly worked as expected and intended, residence orders and contact have not. Residence orders have been used to allocate parental responsibility, which was not intended, and shared care arrangements have become much more common than anticipated. Contrary to expectation, contact disputes have proved to be exceptionally problematic and there have been consequential reforms to deal with issues. Despite these developments the overall conclusion is that the section 8 orders have generally stood the test of time and should not be regarded as being beyond their ‘sell‐by’ date.
Lowe, N. (2010), "A review of the developing law on residence, contact, prohibited steps and specific issue orders under section 8 of the
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