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Understanding a Non-Molestation Order

Everybody has the right to protection against domestic violence and if you fear for the safety of you or your children you should contact the police straight away. In order to safeguard you and/or your children against further acts of domestic violence you can apply for a non-molestation order which will prohibit the abuser using physical violence or threatening and intimidating behaviour towards you and/or your children.

Many victims can be hesitant to seek advice in these circumstances but remember you are not alone in this situation, it is important to tell someone and get the help you need as soon as possible. Here at Kew Law LLP, we can talk to you about your concerns and advise you on the preventative action which can be taken through the Family Courts.

What is a non-molestation order and who can apply?

A non-molestation order is a civil court order preventing you and/or your child from being abused either physically or through threatening and intimidating behaviour.

You can apply if you and/or your children have experienced any of these behaviours by your partner, ex-partner, a family member or someone you are living /have lived with.

A non-molestation order is made in serious circumstances where your abuser will be forbidden from coming into contact with you or your child, damaging your physical possessions or using a third party to threaten, intimidate or use violence against you. For this reason, certain criteria need to be met before a non-molestation order can be granted and our family law specialists can talk to you about this.

A non-molestation order does not however deal with the issue of the occupation of the family home. For more information on this issue please visit our blog regarding occupation orders.

How can the application for a non-molestation order be made?

In order to make an application for an occupation order, a Form FL401 entitled “Application for: a non molestation order/an application for an occupation order” must be completed and lodged at the Court. There is currently no fee payable to the Court to issue an application.

Non-molestation orders can be made without the other party’s knowledge (known as “without notice” or “ex parte” proceedings); if the Court deems your safety would be at risk by the other party being aware of the application they are able to make the order based solely on your evidence.

What happens if the opponent breached the non-molestation order?

It is a criminal offence to contravene a non-molestation order. The police should be called immediately and the offender is likely to be arrested for breaching the order. The Court is able to use sanctions following a breach such as custodial sentence of up to five years or a fine.

How long does a non-molestation order last?

The duration of a non-molestation order varies on a case by case basis however they are typically granted for a term of anywhere between three to six months but can be extended if the conduct of the other party continues to be an issue.

Making an application for a non-molestation order can be a daunting and anxious experience. Our family specialist solicitors will be ready to talk to you about your concerns. Should you wish to make an application for a non-molestation order or would like to talk to one of our solicitors about your options, please contact one of our family law specialists on 0800 987 8156 who would be happy to assist you.

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