It may be that you are currently in an abusive relationship or have already separated from a partner that continues to abuse you. This could be verbal abuse, harassing behaviour or threats of violence. It is often not necessarily physical abuse and many people in relationships are not aware that they are being emotionally abused. Your ex-partner could be controlling you and isolating you from seeing family and friends. This is referred to as ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’ and may include an ex-partner or family member financially abusing you by controlling your access to your bank accounts and taking money from you.
You may feel the need to seek the assistance of the Court who can make an Order called a Non-Molestation Order or an Occupation Order. The Court can also grant these Orders to protect you from a family member as well as someone that you have been in a relationship with.
The Court will take into account the most recent incidents and any history of abuse that you have suffered. The Court can make a Non-Molestation Order to prevent a family member or ex-partner from intimidating, harassing or pestering you, from threatening or using violence towards you, from damaging your property and from contacting you directly or through social media. It will also prevent them from asking someone else to do any of those things on their behalf. Additionally, you may need the Court to grant an Occupation Order. This will prevent someone from returning to your home, should they have rights to enter the home. You may need the Court to prevent your ex-partner from living with you if they jointly own the house for example. The Court can prevent that person from coming within so many metres from anywhere they may believe you to be living. The Court will usually put these Orders in place for a time limit of 6 months or 1 year.
Should the Court grant you a protective Order and your ex-partner or family member then break the terms of the Order, there is a warning attached to the Order giving the Police the power to arrest or fine them. Whether the Court have already made an Order or not, we strongly suggest that you always call the Police should you fear for your safety. The Police may decide to charge your ex-partner or family member for breaking the Order and they could be sent to prison.
Quite often there are children involved when parents have separated, and you may be concerned how the child will have contact with the other parent if there is a protective Order in place. You can ask the Court to make an Order that the only communication will be in relation to contact arrangements through a third party or Solicitors. You will be able to make alternative arrangements to arrange contact so that you can still be protected by the Order made.
If the terms of the Order have been broken, then you should report this to the police immediately. The Police will investigate whether to take further action where they will consider charging your ex-partner or family member. Sometimes there may not be enough evidence for the Police to take action however you can apply to the Court to have the Order enforced or even extended. As the Orders are only put in place for a specific period of time, should you fear that your ex-partner or family member will continue to abuse you, you can ask the Court to extend the length of time the Order is in place. The Order may be extended for another 6 months, a year or even a lifetime should your life be in danger.
You may have had notice that one of these Orders has been made against you and that you have to attend Court. It may be that your ex-partner or family member has made false allegations against you and that you require our help in defending your case. It may also be the case that you have been abused by them and you would need to make an application for an Order to protect yourself against your ex-partner’s application. Here at Andrew Isaacs Law we will be able to discuss your circumstances with you and advise you what the best steps to take would be in helping you achieve the best outcome possible.
Should you be having any concerns when it comes to protecting yourself from an abusive partner or ex-partner, or even family member, whether you wish to apply to the Court or are already in the middle of proceedings and require advice, then please do not hesitate to give us a call and we can advise you further on the possible steps.
Alternatively, if you have received a Non-Molestation Order, we can also advise you on what you need to do next.
Andrew Isaacs Law can make the whole process easier for you as we understand that your family matters.
Please call our Doncaster office on: 01302 349480 or Melton Mowbray office on 01664 896 218.