Personal

Non-Molestation & Occupation Order

In March 2021, 613,929 incidents relating to domestic violence were recorded by the police across England and Wales (ONS.gov.uk). If you have been a victim of domestic violence and seek protection, you can apply for a non-molestation order or occupation order from the court. 

With over 30 years’ experience, Garratts' team of expert family solicitors will guide you through every step of the process and work to ensure the best possible outcome for you. To book an initial consultation, please call our team on 0161 665 350.

 

What is an injunction?

An injunction is a court order protecting a victim from their abuser (also known as 'respondent') by telling someone to do something or not do something. If that person does not obey an injunction, they can be charged with contempt of court and may be sent to prison.

 

What is a non-molestation order?

In England and Wales, a non-molestation order is a type of injunction that protects someone and their children from violence, harassment and intimidation.

 

What is an occupation order?

An occupation order tells the abuser to leave home or stay away from it. It specifies who is allowed to live in your home.

 

How can I apply for a non-molestation order or occupation order?

You can make an application for a non-molestation order or occupation order under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Family Law Act 1996.

Whilst there is no fee, you will be required to fill in a complex application form and prepare a supporting statement explaining your circumstances. You may wish to get help from an experienced family solicitor to support your application.

 

Who can apply for a non-molestation order?

Anyone affected by the abusive behaviour of;

  • someone they have been in a relationship with,
  • a family member,
  • or a person they currently live with or have lived with who is harassing them can apply for a non-molestation order.

This includes;

  • victims of domestic violence and abuse, whether they are men or women;
  • family members of abusers,
  • and people with care and parental responsibilities of children under 16 years old.

 

How long does a non-molestation order last?

A non-molestation order usually lasts between 6 and 12 months. However, the court can grant it for a longer period or extend it.

 

Who can apply for an occupation order?

If you are the victim of domestic abuse and fulfill the following requirements, you can apply for an occupation order;

  • your home is or was shared with your former spouse or civil partner, but you do not rent or own it yourself,
  • your home is or was intended to be a shared marital home with your former spouse or civil partner, either renting or owning it,
  • your home is or was intended to be a shared home cohabited with your former partner who either owned or rented it,
  • your home is or was intended to be shared with your future spouse or civil partner, or co-parent.

 

How long does an occupation order last?

An occupation order will be granted for a shorter period than a non-molestation order. It will usually last around 6 months. 

 

What happens after I've submitted my application?

The court will send you a Notice of Proceedings with details about your court hearing. You will also be required to give a copy of your application in person to the respondent in your application.

Any court hearings will be made in private with you receiving a copy of the final order, which will provide you with details about any restrictions for the respondent and how long the order will be granted.

 

Why should I choose Garratts to help with my non-molestation or occupation order?

Garratts Solicitors have decades of experience in dealing with non-molestation and occupation orders. We can guide you through the complicated process of applying for a non-molestation or occupation order from the court. Legal Aid may also be available on enquiry to assist with your applications.

If you require further information, please call our team on 0161 665 350, or complete our enquiry form.

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