Divorce & Family Law

Orders to Protect against Domestic Violence

Unfortunately in some relationships domestic violence does occur.  It can take place during or as a result of a breakdown in the relationship.  Domestic violence has a wide meaning and covers behaviours such as violence, harassment, intimidation, threats of violence, emotional or sexual abuse.  The list is not exhaustive and both men and women can suffer from it. 

The main thing to note about domestic violence is that it is a criminal offence and the first call should be the police.  The police have the legal powers to deal with the immediate danger in order to protect you and your family.

Further to any assistance that you receive from the police we can assist you in obtaining the appropriate legal orders in order to protect you from any further violence or abuse.

The 2 main orders granted by the court are:

1 – Non-molestation order – this order prevents your partner from harming you or harassing you.

2 – Occupation order – This is a court order that can remove your partner from the home that you share and prevent them from coming back.

Both of these orders can have a power of arrest attached.  A power of arrest means that if the offending behaviour continues the offender can be arrested and put in to prison.

In order to apply for one of the above orders you and your perpetrator must be ‘associated persons’.  The definition of an ‘associated person’ is contained within the Family Law Act 1996 but basically means that you have to be in some sort of relationship with one another.  Furthermore you also have to have some form of matrimonial rights over the property that you wish to exclude the offender from but this does not mean that you necessarily have to own the property together.

Domestic violence is a very serious issue.  It is a criminal offence and if you are in a situation that is resulting in domestic violence you should obtain assistance immediately as it is not something that you should tolerate.

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