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Non-molestation orders

During relationships, especially when relationships are ending, couples argue. Sometimes these arguments can lead to violence which most people would recognise as domestic abuse. However, domestic abuse isn’t just about physical abuse. It can also be psychological, financial, sexual and emotional abuse.

If you believe you are suffering domestic abuse then you have a number of remedies available to you under both criminal and civil law. Because it falls under criminal law you can go to the police for immediate help and you should do this immediately if you believe you or your children are in danger.

Austin Kemp’s solicitors are experienced in dealing with domestic abuse and harassment and can talk you through the options available to you in law. Seeking specialist legal advice as soon as possible will mean that you can better protect yourself and your family. We particularly specialise in representing high net worth individuals and understand the need for sensitivity and discretion in these matters.

If you are being subjected to domestic abuse one of the things we would advise you to do is to obtain a non-molestation order which will enable you to prevent the abuser threatening you or your child. This will generally stop your abuser from contacting you or going to a particular location. You are able to apply for a non-molestation order against a range of people who are close to you from cohabitees to ex-spouses or civil partners or even some family members. We can discuss other options with you if you have a less close relationship with the person who is abusing or harassing you.

In certain circumstances, particularly if you are in danger, it is possible to get your application to court on the same day that you come to see us. The application can be filed, in exceptional circumstances, ‘without notice’ to the other party. This means that the other party will not be aware of your application and if successful the court will grant an interim non-molestation order.

The court has quite a large discretion when it comes to what molestation actually means because the law has mainly been guided through case law. The court will consider all circumstances including the wellbeing of the applicant and any relevant child. Normally a non-molestation order will prevent someone contacting you, attending your home, intimidating or harassing you or using violence against you.

It is common for this order to be used together with an occupation order so that the abuser cannot enter your home.

When you go to court you will be allowed to have your legal representative with you but no-one else who is not concerned with your case will be let in. This means that there are no members of the public in court which is good for your privacy.

If the other party breaches the non-molestation order this is a criminal offence and you can contact the police who will come and arrest them.

Austin Kemp can guide you through this process at what can be a particularly difficult and stressful time in your life. Our team of lawyers are experienced in dealing with domestic abuse and harassment and will advise you of your rights and discuss with you how you would like to proceed.

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