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If you have been affected by domestic violence, the expert family law solicitors at JMW are here to provide the legal assistance you need. Our team has helped many people take emergency legal action to protect themselves from domestic abuse, and we have also helped people safeguard the occupation of their family home.
We can also help if you have been served with a non-molestation or occupation order and need to know what to do next to defend the application and ensure your legal rights are preserved.
Please note that if you believe you, your children or other family members are in immediate danger due to domestic abuse, you should call 999 for assistance from the emergency services.
Whatever your situation, the approachable and understanding team at JMW can help. Find out more about our services today by calling us on 0800 652 5577 or by completing our online enquiry form, which will enable us to give you a call back at a time suitable for you.
When domestic abuse occurs, there are legal steps that can be taken to help bring it to an end and protect individuals who are at risk. It is essential that any legal action is taken without delay. Domestic abuse can take many different forms and can include behaviour such as:
- Physical violence
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Controlling behaviour
If you are subject to domestic abuse, you may be able to obtain a non-molestation order from the court to help protect you and any children in your care.
At JMW, we can help you make an informed decision as to whether a court order is appropriate in your case. We provide reliable legal advice on the various different types of orders, which are sometimes known as 'injunctions'.
A non-molestation order is designed to stop a relative or partner doing certain things, such as using or threatening violence against you, harassing, pestering or intimidating you, or contacting you at all. The precise wording of the order will depend on the situation. The court will look at all the circumstances of the case, including whether an order is necessary to secure your health, safety and wellbeing and that of any relevant child.
You will need to give details of the incident or incidents that have led you to the conclusion that an order is needed and the descriptions will need to be reasonably detailed and specific as to time and place. Your solicitor will discuss with you whether any supporting evidence is needed, such as photographs or copies of text messages.
In certain cases, the court can make an order regulating who can and cannot live in the family home. This is called an occupation order. You may be in an abusive relationship and wish for your partner to be excluded from your property, or you may have been excluded from your own home and wish to return.
An occupation order regulates the occupation of a property. The order might say that a particular person is no longer allowed to live in a house they once shared with their former partner or, in another situation, the order could say that a person who has been excluded from a property is allowed to move back in.
The actual wording of the order will be specific to the situation. However, an order specifying where someone can or cannot live is potentially very dramatic in its effects on the lives of the people concerned. The court therefore does not make these orders lightly and there will need to be solid evidence as to the harm that would be suffered if the order were not made.
I have been given a piece of paper called a non-molestation order, some other documents and a notice that I need to go to court next week. What is going on?
You need to speak to a solicitor urgently. The timescales for responding to an order of this nature can be tight and it may be very important that you do so, depending on the situation, not least because a costs order may be made against you. A non-molestation order is designed to protect victims of domestic abuse and so it is likely that serious allegations will have been made, which should be addressed.
Is there anything I can do to keep my ex away from my home? He keeps threatening me by text and has left horrible messages for me on Facebook.
Yes. Depending on the seriousness of the communications and any other behaviour, you may be able to obtain a non-molestation order (to protect you personally) and/or an occupation order (to keep your former partner away from the home).
Talk to a solicitor as soon as you can and contact the police if you feel you are unsafe or otherwise at risk. There are also domestic abuse helplines that may be able to assist you, such as Women's Aid or the Men's Advice Line.
My husband and I have always lived in England but got married abroad. Can we get divorced here?
Provided the marriage ceremony was legally valid according to the laws of the country in which it took place, there should be no problem. The marriage certificate will need to be translated if it is not in English. If there is no certificate but you believe that the marriage was nevertheless valid, the situation can be quite complicated and it is essential to obtain specialist legal advice.
The solicitors at JMW are highly experienced in dealing with cases relating to domestic violence. We handle all such cases with great sensitivity and care, guiding our clients through what can be a particularly troubling time.
This area of law can be complex, so it is imperative you have the right legal team behind you. We will provide all of the support, advice and representation you need, giving you the best chance of securing the outcome you are after.
We are approachable, understanding and sympathetic to your needs, and will support you from the beginning of your dealings with us until the end.