Protecting you and your property

Non-Molestation Orders

Molestation can include violence, threats of violence intimidation, harassment or pestering. This order is designed to protect the safety and well-being of you and your children from the actions of your partner or ex-partner. A breach of this order is a criminal offence and can result in the offender being given a fine or a term of imprisonment.

A non-molestation order can be made against someone you are or were married to, in a relationship with, have a child with or related to. If you need an urgent application made we can advise you and make the application to the court on the same day. The order can be made for a specific or indefinite amount of time.

If you do not feel that you are in immediate danger and want an alternative to a non-molestation order, you can request that the person give an undertaking to the court. This is a promise that they will not harass or intimidate you or your children. A breach of an undertaking is considered contempt of court.

We can help you decide if a non-molestation order is needed to make you feel safe in your day-to-day life.

Occupation orders:

If you do not feel safe in your own home, this order can regulate who is allowed to live in or have access to the family home. It can prevent your partner, ex-partner or relative from entering the home, certain rooms of the home or a surrounding area of the property. In some cases, you can apply for this order even if you do not own or rent the property you live in. The courts will look at your housing needs and the housing needs of any dependants you have, behaviour of the parties involved and whether you have anywhere alternative to stay.

This order is made for a specific period of time such as six months. This gives you time to arrange for alternate accommodation or move the house into your sole name if appropriate. A power of arrest can be attached to this order, making it a criminal offence to breach it.

As with non-molestation orders, it will sometimes be more appropriate to ask for the person to give an undertaking to the court to ensure that they will not access the family home.

Registered charges on property:

If you have an interest in a property and are worried about your home being sold without your permission or knowledge, we can help you register a charge against the property. This prevents the property from being sold without your permission, and if it is sold, for any money owed to you to come out of the proceeds of sale. We understand that following the breakdown of a relationship you may find it easier or necessary to move out of the house you own. This can cause uncertainty, as you may not have immediate control over how the property is managed while you are not living in it. A charging order can help if you feel that the property is in danger of being sold by a co-owner when you do not consent to the sale. It can also help if you feel that the property is being sold too fast, for example before the beginning of a divorce.

A registered charge can be withdrawn by yourself once the issue is resolved or when the house is sold.

Making your voice heard:

We can help you make your voice heard throughout proceedings. We aim to discuss your wishes and work with you to ensure these are followed as closely as possible. We give you the option of using our own staff as representation in court or using external barristers, depending on your needs and budget.

Prohibited steps orders:

If you have parental responsibility over a child and are worried about the decisions that are being made on behalf of your child by someone else with parents responsibility, a prohibited steps order can prevent a specific course of action. You have parental responsibility over a child if you are the birth mother, if you are the father and you were married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, if you are named as the father on the birth certificate and your child was born after 2003 of if the court has granted you parental responsibility. Examples of these orders are preventing the change of a child’s surname, or moving the child to another school.

When making this type of order, the court will give priority consideration to the wishes and feelings of the child, the effect of the change, the child’s sex and age and any harm the child has suffered or is risk of suffering. If the child is above 12, their wishes and feelings will generally be taken into account above other considerations.

Applications to withhold address:

If you are worried about your new address being found as a result of taking legal action, we can protect you with an application to withhold your address. This application is used where there is a safeguarding issue of you or any children you live with.

Change of name:

We understand that following the end of a marriage or civil partnership, you may wish to revert back to your maiden name. Alternatively, you may be moving into a new stage of your life, with a new family or by changing your gender and feel that a change of name is necessary. Whether it is a result of a breakdown of relationship or change in circumstances, we can help with an official change of name.

Maddison and Morgan