I’ve been served with a non-molestation order, what can I do?

A short guide to non-molestation orders, who can apply for them and what to do if you’re served with one. Call our team to find out your options.

Jan 14, 2022 | Blogs, Divorce, Women&Divorce

Overview

A Non-Molestation Order protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who’s abusing you. If you’ve been served with a non-molestation order, we can advise you on your options and possible outcomes.

What Is A Non-Molestation Order?

A Non-Molestation Order protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who’s abusing you. You, or a relevant child, must be at risk of “significant harm.”  The order seeks to protect the applicant and any children from being molested by the respondent. They are frequently used in cases of domestic abuse. If you’re in immediate danger of being abused or have been abused, report it to the police

  • Applicant = the person applying for the order
  • Respondent = the accused person

If you need an injunction to decide who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area, you may need to apply for an ‘occupation order.’  

Who Can Apply For A Non-Molestation Order?

Under the Family Law Act, you must be an ‘Associated Person’ in order to apply for a non-molestation order.  In short, you can usually apply if you’re a victim of domestic abuse and the person you want to be protected from is:  

  • someone you’re having or have had a relationship with
  • a family member
  • someone you’re living or have lived with

You can apply if you’re a victim of domestic abuse and the respondent is your:

  • husband, wife or civil partner
  • former husband, former wife or former civil partner
  • fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
  • former fiancé, former fiancée or former proposed civil partner – if your engagement or agreement to form a civil partnership ended less than 3 years ago
  • boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or a person you’re in or have been in a relationship with for more than 6 months

There is no guarantee that a non-molestation application will be successful.

How Much Does It Cost?

  • If you are the person applying for a non-molestation order, there is no fee for the application. You may need to pay for any legal advice. You can check if you are eligible for legal aid here.
  • If you are served with a non-molestation order (the respondent)), you will need to pay for any legal advice – there is no legal aid.   Call our team to find out your options and estimated costs. This is not a legal advice call. We offer affordable legal fees (fixed fee and hourly rates with payment plans – we do not offer legal aid).

What Are My Options If I’m Served With A Non-Molestation Order?

If you’ve been served with a non-molestation order, you will have the opportunity to respond to the application. If the Order you receive is made “without notice,” the Court will list a hearing within 14 days.  You will need to consider your options – whether to agree to the undertaking or challenge the Order:
  • You Can Accept The Order (on a ‘no admission’ basis) 
  • You Can Defend The Order 
  • You Can Provide An Undertaking

We can help you plan your next steps and respond to the non-molestation order.

What Happens If You Breach A Non-Molestation Order?

A breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence. The criminal courts have a range of sentencing options available to them – the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment and a fine.

How Can SKB Law Help?

We’re an award-winning family law team supporting people across England & Wales in person, by phone or video. We have significant experience helping clients with non-molestation orders. 

Contact our team if you need to apply or respond to either a non-molestation order or occupation order.

Thank you for reading. We hope you found the information in this post helpful. Please note, it is not intended to replace legal advice. Visit Review Solicitors to find out more about the firm and read our reviews.  

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