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What are non-molestation orders?
A non-molestation order (or “non-mol”) is one of the court’s key powers in cases involving domestic violence. The order prevents a person from harassing or threatening you. Depending on the drafting and the severity of your case, the order can be drafted to prevent your spouse from contacting you or going near you.
If you own the home in which you live, you are not married to your spouse and your spouse has no legal entitlement to the property then the non-molestation order can also stop them from coming to your home. If this is not the case, you will need to apply for an occupation order.
If a person breaches a non-molestation order, it is both civil contempt (leading to a possible fine or imprisonment) and a criminal offence. They can be immediately arrested and face up to five years in prison. Where a victim feels that a non-molestation order would be too strong, it is possible to agree undertakings – a solemn promise to the court. If undertakings are broken, it remains civil contempt but is not a criminal offence.
How can I apply?
If you want to apply for a non-molestation order, the best course of action will always be to speak to a family solicitor with experience of such orders. It is possible, however, to apply online on the government website and by post.
What can I do if I have been falsely accused of domestic violence?
Sometimes, malicious spouses can falsely accuse the other of domestic violence. Such allegations, and any subsequent orders, can have severe consequences. If you are subject to a malicious allegation, it is crucial you take advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. This will ensure you are able to prevent, or overturn, a non-molestation order which states that you have abused your spouse.
If you would like to know more about the issues covered in this guide, Vardags offers a free consultation to qualifying individuals.
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The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.
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