Saturday, 25 June 2016

What protection is available from a violent partner in the Family Courts?

If you need protection from a violent partner or family member then an application can be made for a Non Molestation Order. 

If there is risk of immediate harm then an application to Court could be made on an emergency basis without giving notice to the former partner (“Respondent”).  If the Order was made without the Respondent being present then there would be a return hearing listed in which his/her position could be provided to the Court but the Applicant would have the protection of the Order in the intervening period.
A Non Molestation Order would prohibit the Respondent from being violent, threatening or harassing towards the Applicant.  It would also prohibit the Respondent from contacting the Applicant by any means whatsoever (including by telephone, text message or electronic communication).  The Order would further forbid the Respondent from attending at the Applicant’s home and in certain circumstances from going within a defined distance of the Applicant’s home. 
The Non Molestation Order would be effective when served upon the Respondent.  A copy would also be provided to the Police Station.
Breach of a Non Molestation Order is a criminal offence and the Respondent would be arrested if they breached the same.  The Applicant would contact the Police, who would hold a copy of the Order if they felt there had been a breach.
If the separating couple lived together and both parties had a legal right to occupy the property in which they lived (ie. Joint tenants or joint owners) then consideration should be given to applying for an Occupation Order as well.  An Occupation Order would prevent the alleged violent partner from residing in the property which the separating couple had previously lived in together. 

This short article is for information only.

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