What are Non-Molestation Orders?
It is a regrettable fact that domestic abuse cases are still prevalent in the UK and can seemingly happen to anyone no matter their gender, age or background.
A non-molestation order is a type of injunction you can apply for to ensure that your former partner does not harm you or your family members.
Harm can include any type of physical and psychological abuse; such as physical violence, harassment, pestering, threatening or intimidating behaviour.
Non-molestation orders can be filed at the same time as an occupation order if this is required in your specific circumstances.
Who can Apply for a Non-Molestation Order?
To be eligible to apply for a non-molestation order the person you are seeking to file the order against must be considered an ‘associated person’, which means they must be connected to you in one of the following ways:
- You were married or in a civil partnership together, or
- You have lived together, or
- You have a child together, or
- You are related, or
- You have shared an intimate relationship with them over a significant time period, or
- You have been involved in family proceedings together, such as a divorce or a child contact arrangement order
What Protection is Offered?
When applying to the court for a non-molestation order, you can request that it includes one or both of the provisions listed below:
- 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
Both provisions are usually sought by victims of domestic abuse who are looking to keep themselves and their children safe, especially when the respondent is known to be particularly aggressive or violent.
The breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence, so if your ex-partner is foolish enough to violate the terms of their order, they will be arrested and may face imprisonment of up to five years.
Non-molestation orders can last for as long as necessary, however the average length of this kind of injunction stands between six to twelve months.
Applying for a Non-Molestation Order
Unlike restraining orders, you do not need to first take your offender to court for criminal proceedings to apply for a non-molestation order.
Our team of expert family law solicitors highly experienced with cases involving domestic violence can help you with your application for the non-molestation and/or occupation order and guide you through the legal procedures.
As part of their support they will help you with devising a written statement and reviewing and gathering evidence against your ex-partner where evidence needs to be provided.
The more evidence you have proving your abuser’s behaviour and ill-will, the more likely it is that your injunction will be granted swiftly.
We strongly recommend seeking advice from our trusted family law solicitors prior to submitting your application to ensure you have followed the correct procedures and brought forward the relevant information for the judge to be able to decide in your favour.
Applying for Emergency Injunctions
In some cases, we understand that you will not want your estranged partner to find out you are seeking legal action against them, as this could drastically heighten the chances of your safety being at risk.
In this situation, it may be necessary to apply for an urgent non-molestation order known as an ‘ex parte’ or a ‘without notice’ order.
These typically last around fourteen days and can be enforced without your abuser’s knowledge or consent.
Your abuser will also not be required to attend court or be able to build a defence until the emergency order has concluded.
How we can Help You
Our family law team are well equipped to deal with all your legal requirements, including court order applications, divorce proceedings, child agreements and financial settlements.
We can negotiate financial matters and asset arrangements with your ex so that you don’t have to deal with them directly, all whilst ensuring you feel secure and supported.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your case with our family law team in complete confidentiality.
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