A non-molestation order can be given to you if you are the victim of domestic abuse. If you are living in fear of your abuser, then our solicitors can help you. Non-molestation orders are a form of protection that could help you and your family feel safer.
AWH Solicitors are pleased to be a provider of legal aid services, so legal aid may be available to you.
What are non-molestation orders used for?
A non-molestation order is a type of injunction that ensures that your former partner does not harm you or your family members.
Harm in this context includes any type of physical and psychological abuse, such as:
- Physical violence
- Threatening or intimidating behaviour
If required, non-molestation orders can be filed at the same time as an occupation order.
Who can apply for a non-molestation order?
To be eligible for a non-molestation order, that individual needs to be an ‘associated person’. This means they must be connected to you in one of the following ways:
- You were married or in a civil partnership together
- You have lived together
- You have a child together
- You are related
- You have shared an intimate relationship with them over a significant time period
- You have been involved in family proceedings together, such as a divorce or a child contact arrangement order
What protection does a non-molestation order give?
When applying to the court for a non-molestation order, you can request that it includes one or both of the following:
- The ‘respondent’ (the person you are filing the order against) is prohibited from harming you, and/or
- The ‘respondent’ is prohibited from harming your children
Victims of domestic abuse typically seek both, especially when the individual is particularly aggressive or violent towards them.
Breaching a non-molestation order is a criminal offence. If your ex-partner is foolish enough to violate the terms of their order, they will be arrested and could face up to five years in prison.
Non-molestation orders can last for as long as necessary, however they normally last between six to twelve months on average.
Applying for a non-molestation order
Unlike restraining orders, you don’t have to take the offender to court first. Criminal proceedings are not required for a non-molestation order to take effect.
The more proof you have, the more likely it is that your injunction will be granted quickly.
Applying for emergency injunctions
In some cases, you may not want your estranged partner to find out you are seeking legal action against them, as it could put you at risk. If so, it may be necessary to apply for an urgent non-molestation order. This is known as an ‘ex parte’ or ‘without notice’ order.
These typically last around fourteen days, and they can be enforced without your abuser’s knowledge or consent. They will also not be required to attend court or be able to build a defence until the emergency order has concluded, giving you time to get other protections in place.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our solicitors to discuss your case confidentially with our family law team.