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Occupation orders

If you’re currently involved in a dispute about who should occupy your property, you may need a type of injunction called an ‘occupation order’ or ‘occupancy order’. Our solicitors can explain exactly how occupancy orders work, and help you get things under control.
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What is the purpose of an occupation order?

Occupation orders can be used to grant someone access back into their property. They can also be used to keep certain people away from a property and its surrounding areas, or both. They are usually served against abusive partners. It helps to ensure that victims can live in the property safely and peacefully, without fear of the abusive ex-partner returning.

Our family law solicitors have a great deal of experience with occupation orders. They’ve seen upsetting instances of clients being locked out of their homes or forced to share a living space with their abusive ex-partner. We can help you secure your occupation order and prevent this type of situation from continuing, so you can live safely in your home.

You don’t need to worry about a lack of clarity with your financial matters either. The order can be tailored to include who is responsible for maintaining the property and who should be paying, or contributing to, the mortgage or rent and bills.

We will ensure that the terms of your occupation order are fair and that they protect you from your abuser, so you can relax and live safely at home.

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Who can apply for an occupation order?

Firstly, you must be able to show that you are in some way associated with the person you want to file the order against.

This means having a relationship with them of some kind, whether they are your partner, ex-partner, relative, co-habitant or someone you have been involved with in court proceedings before.

You must also be able to prove that you are legally entitled to live in the property, either as an owner, joint-owner or tenant. You can also apply if you were married to the owner or legal tenant.

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How legally-binding are occupation orders?

Whilst occupation orders have no impact on the legal ownership of a property, the offender must abide by its terms. If they don’t they face arrest and possibly a jail sentence of up to five years.

The length of your occupation order will depend on your circumstances, but they generally last between six and twelve months. If necessary, they can be replaced by a further order when they expire.

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What will the court consider when I apply?

When deciding whether to grant you your occupation order or not, the judge will consider:

  • The housing needs of you and your family
  • The behaviour and conduct of both you and your partner
  • Your financial situation
  • The impact the occupation order will have on everyone involved, also known as the ‘balance of harm’

In some cases, the judge may decide it’s necessary to impose both an occupation and a non-molestation order, especially when the case involves a particularly aggressive or violent offender.

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Expert guidance on your occupation order

Over the years, our team have used their knowledge, experience and empathy to handle all kinds of domestic violence cases. Their approach is always accurate and compassionate.

We have had much success in granting occupation orders on behalf of our clients within different types of family arrangements. All of them were granted swiftly to offer our clients the protection they needed.

You should not have to live in fear. Contact our family law team today to discuss your situation in complete confidentiality.

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Our Fees

At AWH Solicitors we can offer fixed fee packages, as we know our clients prefer to know what they will pay from the outset.

Our platinum uncontested divorce package for the petitioner is only £450 plus vat plus the court fee.

Our contested divorce package

If you can't agree on a settlement with your former spouse our contested divorce package will likely be suitable for you.

  • Initial consultation for 30 minutes about the divorce only and completing the divorce petition with you
  • Reasonable correspondence with you, the court and the other side in respect of the divorce proceedings
  • Drafting the divorce documents, namely; divorce petition, application for decree nisi, statement in support for decree nisi and application for decree absolute
  • Keeping you informed throughout in respect of the divorce process

Our platinum uncontested divorce package

Similarly to our contested divorce package, we offer a platinum fixed fee package for the respondent in uncontested divorce proceedings for only £275 plus vat.

  • Initial consultation with you for 30 minutes
  • Preparing the 'Acknowledgement of Service Form'
  • Checking court papers
  • Advising you of the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute once received from the court

What is not included in these fees

If during the divorce process any of these factors arise you will no longer qualify for the fixed fee divorce package. If this occurs we will immediately discuss matters with you to agree a new fixed fee structure with you.

In cases where the divorce is defended, we are prepared to offer fixed packages but will need to discuss and review your case with you to tailor a package that will suit you.

  • Obtaining a duplicate copy of the marriage certificate
  • Having the marriage certificate translated
  • Fees charged by a bailiff/process server in serving the divorce documents on the respondent
  • The costs of amending the divorce papers once they have been lodged at court
  • If acting for the respondent the costs of applying to the court for the decree absolute
  • Dealing with any issues in relation to the relationship in connection with the children, finances, property or domestic violence
  • The costs of tracing a party
  • Attending court in respect of the divorce proceedings
  • Enforcing any costs order
Contested divorce
General cost £450
VAT £90
Court fee £550
Total £1,090
Uncontested divorce
General cost £275
VAT £55
Total £330

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