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Occupation Orders – 5 Things You Need To Know About

An occupation order is a court order which specifies who is and who is not able to live in the family home. It can also specify who can enter the surrounding area. This type of order is usually only made for a short period of time, normally around 6 months, although it may be possible to renew an order in certain circumstances.

Occupation orders can also be used to gain the right to return to the family home, if, for example, your spouse has changed the locks and will not let you back in. These orders may also be utilised by someone to assert their right to stay in the house.

If necessary, occupation orders can also specify who is going to pay the mortgage and bills.

Not everyone who is going through a divorce will need to apply for an occupation order.  This type of order is there to help protect people and is more often than not used when domestic violence has either been threatened or has happened.

It is important to note that occupation orders do not change who legally owns the property.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to apply for an occupation order when you divorce. In this article, we take a look at 5 things you need to know about occupation orders, including what is an occupation order and how you can go about getting one.

 

What is an occupation order?

What is an occupation order? An occupation order is a court order which specifies who is and who is not able to live in the family home and/or who can enter the surrounding area.

Normally, an occupation order will only last for a short period of time, usually around 6 months. In certain circumstances, an occupation order can be renewed.

An occupation order can also be used to gain the right to return to the family home, if, for example, your spouse has changed the locks and will not let you back in. Someone can also assert their right to stay in a house using an occupation order.

What’s more, an occupation order can also specify who will be paying the mortgage and bills.

More often than not, an occupation order is used when domestic violence has either been threatened or has occurred. Applying for an occupation order is not necessary for every divorcing couple.

 

How to apply for an occupation order?

An occupation order can have a big impact on the lives of those specified in the order. Those who want to apply will have to meet certain requirements.

Firstly, you will need to show some sort of connection to the property that you want included in the occupation order.

Secondly, you will need to have/have had some sort of relationship with the respondent of the occupation order.

 

What will the courts consider when making their decision?

The judge will consider factors such as the housing needs of those involved in the occupation order (and any children involved) and the behaviour of the applicant and the respondent. The impact upon the health (both mental and physical) of those involved, can also be taken into account. The financial resources of each party may also be considered when making the decision.

 

How long does it take to get an occupation order?

In an emergency, it may be possible to apply to the court for an occupation order in as little as 24 hours.

 

How much does an occupation order cost?

There is no court fee to apply for an occupation order. However, if you are using a solicitor to help you with your application, you should ask your solicitor how much they will charge to help you apply.

We hope we’ve answered the key question: what is an occupation order and how do you get one? As always, it’s highly recommended that you obtain independent legal advice suited to your specific circumstances.

 

Can I apply for an occupation order?

As occupation orders can make a great deal of difference to the lives of those specified in the orders, judges do not make them lightly.

Those who want to apply for an occupation order will have to meet certain requirements.

 

Who owns the house in question? 

You will need to show some sort of connection to the property that you want included in the occupation order.

Note that you do not necessarily have to own the house. If you are married to the person who owns (or rents) the property and you are living in it, you may be able to apply for an occupation order.

Equally, if your ex-spouse is the owner or tenant, you may be able to apply for this type of order.

occupation orders

 

Who is the respondent?

You will need to have/have had some sort of relationship with the respondent of the occupation order.

For example, you may be married to the respondent or you may be engaged to the respondent. Cohabitees may also be able to apply for an occupation order.

 

What will the courts consider when making their decision?

Courts can consider factors such as the housing needs of those involved in the order (and any children involved) and the behaviour of the applicant and the respondent.

The impact upon the health (both mental and physical) of those involved, can also be considered. For example, when making his/her decision about whether or not to grant an occupation order, a judge may consider the effect this would have on the mental health of those involved.

The financial resources of each party can also be taken into account.

 

How quickly can I get an occupation order?

In an emergency, it may be possible to apply to the court in as little as 24 hours.

 

How can our expert family law solicitors help you with an occupation order?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to occupation orders, including:

 

Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on occupation orders

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email mail@austinkemp.co.uk.

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds, LS1 4BY

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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09th January 2018

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