Blackfords LLP

Domestic abuse

There are two types of protective orders available in the family Court where a party is a victim of domestic abuse, violence, or harassment.

A non-molestation order prevents an ex-partner or other “connected person” from using or threatening violence against you/a child, or intimidating, harassing or pestering them.

A breach of a non-molestation order is a criminal offence and the police can arrest the offending party for breaking the order and bring them before the criminal Court.

An occupation order regulates how a party occupies the family home. An occupation order can exclude a party from returning to the home, force a party to leave, and restrict how they live in the home.

A breach of an occupation order is not normally an automatic criminal offence but a party can be brought before the Family Court for a breach and the Family Court can impose both a fine and a prison sentence.

Legal aid is now limited in family cases but it remains a Government priority for victims of domestic abuse. We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and can offer legal aid where a party meets the eligibility criteria.

If you are served with an injunction or an occupation order, it makes sense to obtain specialist legal advice about the implications of the order, how it might affect you and your options in relation to opposing the order. If you do not agree with the order remaining in place, you can be represented at Court with a view to defending the application. Our specialist team can assist with this.

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