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What is a Non-Molestation Order?

Tuesday April 9, 2024

A Non-Molestation Order Is an order that is made to protect an individual from domestic abuse. This order is made in the Family Court and prevents the respondent from ‘molesting’ the applicant. The order can be made for the applicant and also any relevant children.


Who can apply?

In order to apply for a Non-Molestation Order, you must be ‘associated’ with the person you wish to seek the order against. The Family Law Act 1996 defines who an applicant will be able to make an Order against, this covers the majority of ‘family relationships’, this includes; 

Someone who you are or have been married to.

Someone who you are or have been in a civil partnership with.

Someone who you have Cohabited with whilst in a relationship.

Someone who you have lived in the same house and aren’t a tenant, lodger, boarder or one of you is the other person’s employee.

A relative/family member.

Someone who you have or have had an agreement of marriage with.

Someone who you have or have had an intimate personal relationship with each other which is or was of significant duration.

Someone who you have entered into a civil partnership agreement with.

You have a child together or share, or have shared, parental responsibility for a child.

You are parties to family proceedings with someone.


What will a Non-Molestation Order protect against?

A Non-Molestation Order will protect against-

Threats or use of violence.

Intimidation and harassment. 

The respondent coming within a certain distance of the protected person- this can include zones around your home and workplace.

Making any contact with the protected person.


Making the application

Applications can be made with or without notice. 

If the order is made with notice, the respondent will be notified of the application before the hearing.

If the order is made without notice, the respondent will not be made aware of the application until it has been granted. Orders will be made without notice when someone would be at risk of harm if the respondent was notified before the order was granted.


What will happen once the Order is granted?

Once granted, the order will not come into effect until it has been served on the respondent. This is due to the fact that until the respondent is aware of the order and its conditions, they will not be able to follow it and cannot be charged for breaching it.

Once granted and served, the Order will typically be in effect for 6-12 Months, but the order can be extended if a longer period of protection is needed. 

If the Non-Molestation Order is breached by the respondent this is a criminal offence. Breach of this order can result in the respondent being arrested, with a maximum sentence of 5 years and a fine for criminal proceedings and 2 years for civil proceedings. After the Order is served, if the other individual does something that is prevented by the Order, you should ring the police immediately. 


Contact AFG Law on enquiries@afglaw.co.uk for further information or assistance.  

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