Introduction to occupation orders
While many separating couples, whether married, civil partners or cohabitees come to an agreement that one of them will vacate the family home, it is not uncommon that both will remain in the property. This may be to assist with short-term childcare or to allow the vacating party time to find alternative accommodation. Often these interim arrangements run without major incident. However, such arrangements can give rise to unpleasant, hostile and sometimes violent environments. Such instances can cause emotional harm to any adults or children living in the home and are not in either party’s best interests and may require solicitor intervention to remove the offending party. In these instances we would apply for an occupation order (and probably also a non-molestation order). For more details please refer to our guide to occupation orders.
How Vardags can help with occupation orders
More often than not domestic abuse requires immediate or preventative action. In order to protect our clients it is sometimes necessary to make emergency applications for occupation orders to get your partner out of the home and make it a safe environment for you and/or the children. If it is necessary we will endeavour wherever possible to have your application listed on the day of instruction. If we are preparing a divorce petition or other similar application on your behalf, which might create a flashpoint, we will if appropriate apply for an occupation order for you without notice to your partner with a view to getting him or her out of the house and prevent them from harming you at the point at which he or she receives your petition. Your protection will be our utmost priority and we have extensive experience in these situations. They are far more common, even among the rich and famous, than you might imagine. You can rest assured that your case will be dealt with sensitively and with the strictest confidentiality. If you are subjected to violence you should always contact the police immediately. Once you have discussed the matter with the police you should contact us.
If you have been served with an application for an occupation or non-molestation order, we are able to provide expert advice on how best to protect your interests prior to and at the hearing. It may be that the injunction has already been obtained without notice to you, and then we will work to prepare for the “return date” at which we will argue your case to have the injunction removed. We have been very successful in these situations. We have even dealt successfully with clients who have had to contend with criminal prosecution, working with our professional colleagues in criminal law to produce an integrated approach.
If you are subjected to the use or threat of physical violence you should contact the police immediately.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors. Therefore, please call us on 020 7404 9390 or email us to make an appointment to come and see us.