How can an Occupation Order Help Someone Suffering Domestic Violence?
Firstly, What is an Occupation Order?
Occupation orders enable the court to regulate who lives in the family home. It
can include several different provisions, such as requiring the respondent to leave
the property or to allow the applicant to enter and remain there. It can cover situations
whereby the property is jointly owned or rented.
How do you get an Occupation Order?
The test for such orders is known as the 'balance of harm' test. The court will
consider the harm suffered by the applicant or relevant child, and whether they
are likely to suffer significant harm if the court does not make the order. This
will be weighed up against the harm suffered by the respondent or relevant child
if the order is made. Section 33(7) of the Family Law Act states that the court
must make an order if the test is met.
Even if the 'balance of harm' threshold is not satisfied, the court still has the
ability to grant the order. It will examine all the circumstances of the case, including
the housing needs and resources of the parties, their financial resources, the likely
effect of the order, and the conduct of the parties. It must be remembered that
the making of an occupation order is a severe step for the court to take - and this
is reflected in the level of discretion given to the court.
How long does an Occupation Order last for?
The court again has wide powers in relation to the duration of the order, which
can be for a specified period, until a specific event occurs, or until a further
order is made.
Who pays the rent or mortgage if an Occupation Order is in place?
The court is also able to make what are known as ancillary orders. This can include
payment of the rent or mortgage due on the property.
Here to help you...
Contact our domestic violence solicitors now if you need advice in relation to any of the information contained above. We can help you by completing our, no obligation, online
enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on freephone: 0808
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