Non-Molestation Orders - FAQs

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

Victims of Domestic Violence

A non-molestation order prevents the abuser from being violent or threatening violence against you or your child. It also includes intimidation, harassment, or pestering.

Family Law Solicitors - Domestic violence Non-molestation orders

Can I apply for a non-molestation order & I am eligible for Application?

In order to apply for such an order, both the applicant and respondent must be 'associated persons'. This includes people who are married or have been married, civil partners and people who cohabit or people who have previously cohabited. It also covers those who have had 'an intimate personal relationship' which was of 'significant duration' (such as partners who did not live together.)

What does 'Molestation' mean?

'Molestation' can be a somewhat confusing term, but it is one which is viewed widely in practice. It can include violence or threats of violence as well as actions such as nuisance phone calls or text messages. The court will expect that there has been a level of harassment in order to warrant its intervention - in other words, the respondent has acted deliberately so as to harass the applicant. Whilst this is a broad approach, it means that it can cover a multitude of scenarios that constitute domestic violence.

What is contained in a non-molestation Order?

The Order can contain one or both of the following provisions:

  • A prohibition on the respondent from molesting another person who is associated with them
  • A prohibition on the respondent from molesting a 'relevant child' (a wide definition which gives the court a great deal of discretion.)

Will the Order be granted?

In deciding whether to grant a non-molestation order, the Act sets out a test that the court must consider, which has regard to:

  • All of the circumstances of the case, including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of both the applicant and any relevant child.

How long does a non-molestation order last?

Non-Molestation Orders can be made for a specified period, or until the court makes another order, which again affords the court a great deal of flexibility.

What happens if the abuser breaches the Non-Molestation Order?

Importantly, breach of a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offence. Those guilty of breaching such an order can be imprisoned, fined, or both. In the event that a prosecution occurs, this would be dealt with by the Crown Prosecution Service and a specialist solicitor would need to be consulted.

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