Non-molestation orders

What is a non-molestation order?

A non-molestation order is an order prohibiting a person from molesting another person and can be made between family members or those involved in a domestic relationship or previously in a relationship.

What is the definition of molestation?

Molestation involves any form of physical, sexual or psychological molestation or harassment that has a serious impact on your health and well-being. Molestation can include:

  • vexatious communication by telephone, email or text messages;
  • acts and threats of violence including punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, flowing hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, and strangling; 
  • threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, taking the car away, threatening to commit suicide, take children away, contacting welfare agencies about the children, lying to your friends and family about you; 
  • Putting you down in front of other people, interrupting your telephone calls, taking money without asking, refusing to help with childcare or house work;
  • lying to you, withholding information from you, or being jealous;
  • monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; 
  • following you, checking up on you, opening your mail, repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you, embarrassing you in public; 
  • using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill or harm you and the children; 
  • using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don't want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation;
  • punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving , burning and strangling; and
  • denying that abuse occurs, blaming you for causing the abuse, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.

What is the criteria for making an order?

The courts have a wide discretion whether to grant or refuse a non-molestation order. The criteria depends on all the circumstances including the need to secure the health and well-being of you and any relevant child. The court will consider the following factors: 

  • there must be evidence of molestation taking place;
  • you and any relevant child must need protection; and
  • the judge must be satisfied that judicial intervention in required to control your ex-partner's behavior. 

Without notice applications?

The court has the power to make orders without notice to your ex-partner when it considers it is just and convenient, including:

  • where there is a risk of significant harm to you or any relevant child from the conduct of your ex-partner, if the order is not made immediately; or
  • where it is likely that you will be deterred or prevented from making the application if an order is not made immediately; or
  •  there is reason to believe your ex-partner is aware of the proceedings and is deliberately evading service, and you and any relevant child will be seriously prejudiced by the delay involved in serving the court papers. 

How we can help?

If you are being subjected to violent or abusive behavior by your ex-partner you may need to apply for a non-molestation order. Often a warning letter will be sufficient to stop the abusive behavior. However, in more serious cases you may need to apply for an urgent order. We will assess your case to ensure the you and your children get the protection you need.

Legal aid

Legal aid is available for non-molestation application subject to financial eligibility.

What if I don't qualify for legal aid?

The eligibility limits for legal aid are more generous for non-molestation applications than other forms of legal aid. If however you still do not qualify, we charge a fixed fee of £400 plus VAT (£80) plus court fees (£70), total £550. This covers all work involved in preparing your application and representation at the first appointment.

Need further advice?

If you need more detailed advice about applying for a non-molestation order call us on 01288 2950 to arrange an initial consultation or click here to request a free callback.