K J Smith Solicitors

How Can Injunctions Under The Family Law Act 1996 Protect You?

Published: 30 April 2013

The national press has in recent times seen pages filed with references to so-called 'super-injunctions'. These orders were initially used to prevent the press from publishing details about certain individuals and businesses in a variety of legal cases. Most of the recent cases however relate to high profile figures including politicians, celebrities and business people wishing to prevent the media from publishing information about their private lives. Whether fascinated by celebrity gossip, bored by rumours revolving around B-List celebrities or worried about freedom of speech/freedom of press, most people seem to have an opinion on this particular type of injunction.

Despite the controversy raging over 'super-injunctions' there are many other forms of injunction. In family law, the most common types of injunctions are those that are protective measures for people who are the victim of verbal or physical abuse, intimidation or harassment.

The two main types of injunction under the Family Law Act 1996 are a Non-Molestation Order and an Occupation Order.

A Non-Molestation Order is intended for people who are on the receiving end of violence, intimidating or threatening behaviour or harassment. It can prohibit a person from being verbally or physically threatening to you or your child, using violence and harassing or pestering you either directly or through a third party.

An Occupation Order can regulate who lives within the family home. This can also then in-turn prevent the other party from entering your home and, if appropriate, the surrounding area. This can be beneficial in situations where you both live at the property and due to abuse, you would like the other party excluded. It can also apply where you have moved out of the property because of the abuse and would like to return but for the other party to leave.

The Court will consider all the circumstances before making a final Order to exclude someone from the home. These considerations will include the financial resources and housing needs of each party, the conduct of the parties and whether there are any children. It will also take into account the effect of not providing an order for the applicant party.

In order to apply for an injunction, it must relate to an ‘associated person’. You can be associated through various ties including, but not exclusively, if you have been married to or in a civil partnership with each other, you are co-habitants or former co-habitants in a relationship, you have a child together or you are in an intimate relationship of significant duration.

Injunctions are for a period of time considered suitable and the period will be stated within the Order. If you are in immediate danger of serious injury or irreparable harm, an emergency application can be made to the Court the same day without giving notice to the other party.

This article was written by Kerry Smith, Head of Family Law, K J Smith Solicitors, specialists in family law. K J Smith Solicitors is a legal firm specialising in all areas of family law with extensive experience of dealing with both Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. They believe that the best results come through proper understanding, practical solutions and prompt action. As specialists, they are responsive and flexible to every single client.  Why not contact them today to arrange a free 45 minute consultation. Email them at info@kjsmith.co.uk or call Henley (01491) 630000 or London 020 7070 0330 to find out how they can help you. Their website address is: www.kjsmith.co.uk

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