If you need to protect yourself and your children from a violent partner, former partner or relation, a non-molestation order can be a useful defence.
A non-molestation order is a type of injunction made by the court under the Family Law Act 1996. They are usually set for a defined length of time but can be extended indefinitely by the court. A non-molestation order carries the power of arrest and the maximum penalty for breaching an order is 5 years in prison.
Non-molestation orders also forbid abusers from using a third party to intimidate, harass or use violence towards you.
If there is an immediate risk to you or your children it is possible to obtain an emergency non-molestation order. Speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors for further guidance.
Who can I use a non-molestation order against?
Non-molestation orders can only be used against certain people you are, or have been, closely associated with. This includes:
- Current and former spouses
- Spouses to be
- Family members and relations
- Father or mother of your child
- People you have had an intimate relationship with for a long time
When can I apply for a non-molestation order?
You may apply for a non-molestation order if you have experienced violence, harassment or intimidation by any of the above people. You will need some proof of this in order to get the order granted.
Orders must be served on the abuser if they are not in court at the time the order is granted. The police will also need a copy. If the abuser breaches the order they can be arrested and processed by either the criminal court or family court.
Whilst non-molestation orders are an effective deterrent, they are not a guarantee of safety. An abuser might choose to breach the order, in which case they are breaking the law and can be arrested.
Non-molestation orders can also form a protective shroud around your possessions, which is especially beneficial if you have relocated to escape the abuse.
We can help you with all family matters including applying for a non-molestation order. Sometimes a non-molestation order is not the answer and may inflame an already bad situation, but please call one of our family law experts for advice.