Domestic abuse surges at Xmas – how to obtain a Non-Molestation Order
By Jones Myers Senior Family Law Executive Anna Sutcliffe
It’s a distressing but historical fact that, whilst most of us are looking forward to Christmas, the festive season is a period dreaded by many victims of domestic abuse.
The volume of reported incidents involving domestic abuse and applications for Non-Molestation Orders rises as enforced togetherness puts pressure on relationships. This is often made worse by more frequent opportunities to drink alcohol and, last year and this, by pandemic lockdown restrictions.
This article highlights the circumstances in which they can seek a Non-Molestation Order.
What is a Non-Molestation Order?
A Non-Molestation Order is a type of injunction that victims of domestic abuse can apply for.
It prevents your abuser from threatening or inflicting further violence or threatening behaviour upon you.
How do I get a Non-Molestation Order?
It is only possible to apply for a Non-Molestation Order if you can prove that you fall under the category of being an associated person.
This means that your relationship with the person against whom you are seeking the Order must fall within one of the following seven categories:-
- you have been – or are – married to each other
- you have agreed to marry each other
- you have been, or are in, a cohabiting relationship
- you have lived together but not by way of a tenant, lodger, boarder or employee you are having, or have had, an intimate personal relationship with each other which is or was of significant duration
- you are related
- you are parents to a child or the associated person has Parental Responsibility for your child
- you are parties to the same family proceedings (i.e proceedings about children contact etc)
You will then need to complete an application FL401 and prepare a statement telling the Court what has happened and asking for the relevant Order.
The statement should include a Statement of Truth at the end of the document and be dated. If the abuser doesn’t know your address you can apply for it to remain confidential by completing a C8 form.
What if I need an Order urgently?
You can apply for an emergency Order which can be granted by the Court – without giving your abuser notice – for your immediate protection.
After that an “on notice” hearing – giving you and the abuser notice of hearing – will be listed on the first available date so the offender has an opportunity to address the Court. ;
Can I speak to my ex if I have a Non-Molestation Order?
These issues will be addressed by the Court. It is a normal for communication to be allowed in some way when children are involved but this is normally limited to “correspondence about arrangements for children only” or “correspondence through the Applicant’s Solicitors in respect of child arrangements.
What happens if a Non-Molestation Order is breached?
Breaching a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offence and the abuser can be arrested and imprisoned for up to 5 years.
How do I get a Non-Molestation Order extended or removed?
Courts usually grant a Non-Molestation Order for 12 months. You can apply for it to be extended or removed by writing to the Court in person, explaining the current situation along with why you want the Order lengthened or removed, and the benefit to you of doing so.
For queries on Non-Molestation orders, divorce or family law related issues, call us at Leeds on 0113 246 0055, Harrogate on 01423 276104, or York on 01904 202550. Visit www.jonesmyers.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @helpwithdivorce