If you are someone in an abusive relationship, it can feel like the world is against you, and there is no way out. Fortunately, there will be action you can take to get yourself out of this. You can phone the police and charity services, to begin with, before taking out a non-molestation order. If you don’t know what this means, then this article will go over everything you need to know.
What A Non-Molestation Order Is
A non-molestation order is a type of order that is used to protect someone who is in an abusive relationship. If you are someone who is worried about your own safety of the safety of your children, then you will be able to seek legal protection from the abuser.
This legal process will start with you filling out a form alone or working with a solicitor to work through the courts. Of course, if there is any immediate danger, then you should remove yourself from the situation.
You should ensure your first action in a situation like this is to call the police or the relevant services that can get you out of harm’s way. This will be for you or anyone else in your family that needs it. A non-molestation order can be difficult to understand at first, but this article will go over some key relevant points.
How It Is Enforced
You can apply through the courts, through a FL401, that can help make it legal for an abuser to stay away from you and your family. If a non-molestation order is breached, then it will be treated as a criminal offence. This means the police will deal with it and could even enforce a prison sentence if someone breaches the order.
This is why you should phone the police if you feel that someone is breaching the order, as it will be treated seriously, and they will be removed from the situation. This helps you feel more relaxed and less anxious about a situation, giving you peace of mind. The abuser will be made aware of how serious a non-molestation order is, to prevent them from thinking about doing anything, as the repercussions will be clear.
How You Can Get One
If you are in a relationship with someone who is being abusive to you or your family somehow, you are likely to fall into the category of someone who can get one. You can apply through the family courts through an injunction.
As you will have to apply through the courts, you will need to contact an expert solicitor who can help you to navigate the law and sort out the paperwork. You should contact experts such as the National Legal Service, who can provide more information on non-molestation orders. They can go over your specific case, work with the local authorities and help you get your order to be legally valid.
The process involves filling out an FL401 form, which is over 20 pages long. While you can do this alone, you will need a witness statement to support the documents. For this reason and others, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel to help you avoid any mistakes. Mistakes can be costly here, as they will delay the non-molestation order from being active.
The good news is that there won’t be any court fee with this type of application. This can help relieve you of any feelings of anxiety you may have with your financial situation, allowing you to focus on welfare.
Who It Can Apply To
To qualify for a non-molestation order, you will have been subjugated to abuse in some way. This abuse could be threatening physical violence or intimidating or harassing actions either in person or online.
It is possible that someone could be falsely accused and be faced with a non-molestation order due to lies being spread. If you believe this to be you, or someone else you know, then you will have to try and challenge the order.
The first step you should take here is to obey the order while it’s legal, as acting against this could put you in further trouble that you can’t get out of. In the meantime, you should contact a solicitor who can represent you and navigate the legal process. They will figure out where you are legally and advance your challenge.
They will be the ones talking to the courts, and they will be the ones who will get you a hearing, informing you of the date. Essentially, it will benefit you to speak to a solicitor, whether you are the one accused or the one seeking an injunction. They will be able to provide legal advice.
Do You Need To Tell Anyone?
Although a non-molestation order is an official document, it will be up to you who you want to tell. Of course, your partner may be informed as they are the person involved, but they will only be informed at the end of the process.
This means that they won’t be made aware during the applications stage, and you can apply without them knowing what’s going on. This type of application is known as a without notice application. It is commonly used when you feel like you are in danger and could be in more danger if your partner is made aware of the order before its completion.
So, you don’t need to inform those involved in the process, but you will be free to tell friends, family, or anyone else in your support network. This can help you to feel less alone and feel more supported during a challenging time in your life.
When It Comes Into Effect
When it comes into effect will depend on how much evidence you have for the application. The less evidence you have, the longer it could take to get a court hearing. From the time of applying, you should hopefully be able to get your hearing within a few weeks.
It’s important to note that there are two types of injunctions you could apply for. There will be the non-molestation order, as covered in this article, and an occupation order. The difference is that an occupation order regulates who lives in the family home.
Of course, if you are in more immediate danger, then you can make an emergency application that could see you granted a hearing on the same day. Your partner, or the person involved in the case, will not need to be there either, which helps protect you. Your partner will then be served with the notice of the injunction.
The court will send people to serve the order in person to the abuser so that they know for sure that it has been seen. In some rarer cases, the court may allow a different method to be used to inform the person involved, but this will be a case-by-case situation.
Of course, it will be preferable for the courts and those involved that the order will be served as soon as possible, which will be the courts’ main goal. Do not worry about having to inform partners of these injunctions yourself, as there will be official people who will do this on your behalf. You will be informed on the entire process, and how people are informed, so you don’t have to worry about every step. You can leave it to the experts, as they will have experience with dealing with cases like this daily.