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Domestic Violence – What is a Non-Molestation Order?

20 February 2018

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A Non-Molestation Order is an Order aimed at preventing an abuser from using or threatening violence against you or your child.

Who can apply?

You can usually apply for such Order if you’re a victim of domestic violence and the person you want to be protected from is someone you’re having or had a relationship with, a family member or someone you’re living with or have lived with.

For a full list of who can apply, see https://www.gov.uk/injunction-domestic-violence/eligibility-non-molestation.

How much will it cost?

The Court does not charge a fee for issuing an application for a Non-Molestation Order.

As there is usually sufficient evidence of Domestic Violence to satisfy the Legal Aid criteria, and provided you are below a certain income/capital threshold, it may be that you are eligible for Legal Aid funding to cover your legal fees.

What is the process?

You must first apply to the Court and provide a witness statement to confirm the events that have lead up to you requiring the Court’s intervention.

The Court will then list the matter for Hearing. At the Hearing, the Judge will decide as to whether to make an Order.

If you have an immediate fear of danger, you can request that the Court hear a “without notice” Hearing. This essentially means that the abuser will not be notified or present at the Hearing. This is particularly important in circumstances where notification of the proceedings may seriously threaten your own or your child’s safety.

There are a number of factors which the court will look at before making a decision about whether or not to make an Order. You can ask your Solicitor about the likelihood of a successful application.

If an Order is made, your will be provided with a copy of the Order. This will state exactly what the other party can or cannot do e.g. Not to harass or pester you, not to go within 100 metres of your home etc.

Your Solicitor or the Court will arrange for a copy of your application and witness statement to be ‘served’ on the person named in the application i.e. the perpetrator of domestic violence. This means making sure they get a copy of the documents in person. The Order will only take effect once it has been served on the abuser.

How does the Order protect you?

Although Non-Molestation Orders are effective in protecting you, they cannot guarantee your safety. You and your children may still face violence from your ex-partner if they decide to violate the Order. If they do this however, they will be breaking the law and can be arrested.

It is a criminal offence to ignore or break a Non-Molestation order. Once an order is in place then you can ring the police if there is any breach. The perpetrator will be arrested for breaking their order.

Our experienced Family Solicitors are on hand should you or someone you know require assistance in relation to obtaining a Non-Molestation Order.

We have family solicitors at all of our offices across the UK. Click here to book an appointment. Alternatively, you can visit our Divorce and Family services page here.

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