Family Law Injunctions And Occupation Orders – Who Can Apply?
Posted on 6th May 2020
When a person is at risk of or has been suffering domestic abuse, there are two applications for orders for protection that should be considered. These are brought under Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996.
The first is a Non-Molestation Order, more commonly referred to as an Injunction. The Non-Molestation Order will contain either or both of the following provisions:-
(a) Provision prohibiting a person (“the respondent”) from molesting another person who is associated with the respondent
(b) Provision prohibiting a respondent from molesting a relevant child
The second is an Occupation Order. This determines who lives in the family home or who enters the surrounding area.
So, who will be an ‘associated person’ for the purposes of a Non-Molestation Order? A person is associated with another person if :-
(a) They are or have been married to each other. Therefore you can still apply if you continue to experience problems after divorce
(b) They are or have been civil partners of each other
(c) They are cohabitants or former cohabitants. ‘Cohabitants’ refer to two persons who are neither married to each other nor civil partners of each other are living together as if they were a married couple or civil partners
(d) They live or have lived in the same household. This does not include being the other’s employee, tenant, lodger, or boarder
(e) They are relatives
(f) They have agreed to marry one another – whether or not that agreement has been terminated
(g) They have or have had an intimate personal relationship with each other which is or was of significant duration. This covers persons involved in a relationship, e.g girlfriend/boyfriend but who do not live together
(h) They have entered into a civil partnership agreement (as defined by section 73 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004) (whether or not that agreement has been terminated)
(i) In relation to any child they are both
• Parents of the child
• Have or have had parental responsibility for a child
(j) They are parties to the same family proceedings (eg grandparent applying for protection against the biological parent who is not their own son or daughter)
If a person is under 16 years of age then the permission of the Court will be need to make the application, and in this case the applicant will normally be the parent or legal guardian of the child rather than the child themselves. The Court will also need to be satisfied that the child fully understands the process and is wanting the application to be made.
A person can apply for an Occupation Order if they :-
(a) Own or rent the home and it is, or was intended to be shared with a husband or wife, civil partner, cohabitee, family member, fiancé/fiancée, or the other parent of your child
(b) Do not own or rent the home but they are married or in a civil partnership with the person who does and they live in the home
(c) Are the former spouse or civil partner of the owner or tenant and the home is, was or was intended to be the shared family home
(d) Are the cohabitee or former cohabitee of the owner or tenant and the home is, was or was intended to be the shared family home
If you are not sure whether you fall into one of these categories please contact us for more advice and see our other blogs on domestic abuse and applying for orders.
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