Non-molestation & occupation orders
If you are leaving a violent, abusive or controlling relationship you may need to get a non-molestation or occupation order, usually before you start any other family proceedings, although you can apply at any time. These are also known as injunctions and are different from anything the police or criminal courts may be able to do to protect you.
A non-molestation order (often referred to as a non-mol) is to prevent your ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child, or intimidating, harassing, pestering or controlling you. The aim of an order is to ensure your health, safety and well-being, and that of your children.
A non-mol is relatively easy to obtain, because no-one should be treating you like that anyway. Occupation orders are harder to get because the court has to think very carefully about making someone homeless.
You may be able to get legal aid so you can have a solicitor to make your application but you don’t need to be represented. It’s an easy application to make yourself and these are the only orders you can obtain from the court without having to pay a court fee. They are something I can help you with if you need any assistance with the forms or your statement or going to court.
These applications are often dealt with at court by the alleged abuser giving undertakings to the court not to do the things complained of, or to leave the home. This avoids a long trial with both parties having to give evidence and be cross-examined.
These are fairly straightforward applications and it’s not difficult to make or oppose one without a solicitor or barrister.
If you need to make an application you can get help and information from Women’s Aid or your local domestic abuse organisation.
If you would like to talk through whether or not you need help or representation for a hearing please contact me.
You might also be interested in reading the ‘Legal Structure of Divorce’ a two-minute guide to divorce proceedings.