Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders

We have significant experience and expertise in helping those who have sadly suffered from domestic abuse or if you have been accused of abusive behaviour in a family situation. We will advise you on the availability of remedies such as occupation orders (where a partner may be ordered to leave the home) or a non-molestation order (where the Court will order one party to refrain from harassing or “molesting” another). Any breach of a non molestation order is punishable as a criminal offence and contempt of court.

The Court, when dealing with such applications, will consider all the circumstances of the case including, the safety of the party making the application and any children. In some circumstances, an application can be compromised by way of undertakings being provided.


What are non-molestation and occupation orders? 

These orders are types of injunction that may be sought be victims of domestic violence against their abusers, under Part IV Family Law Act 1996. A non molestation order will prevent a person threatening violence, harassing or intimidating a victim. An occupation order is made by the Court restricting the rights of an abuser to occupy the family home. 

In order to make this type of application, you must be an ‘associated person’. This means that you and your “abuser” must be associated with each other in one of the following ways:

  • You are/have been married to each other.
  • You are/have been in a civil partnership with each other.
  • You are/ have been cohabitants (this includes same-sex couples).
  • You live/have lived in the same household.
  • You are relatives.
  • You have a child together (either parents of the same child or have parental responsibility for the same child).
  • You are not living together but have/have had an ‘intimate relationship of significant duration’.
  • You are both involved in the same family proceedings (for example, divorce or child contact arrangements)


If you are applying for an occupation order, you must either have a legal right to occupy the home in question (as a joint or sole tenant or owner), or you must be married to or living with the owner or tenant. 

For such applications, a statement will be required detailing the background. If an application is made “on notice”, the application will be served on your partner, and you will both need to attend court. If the allegations are admitted, the order will be made. It often lasts 6 or 12 months. If the respondent denies the allegations, the case will proceed to a final hearing, where evidence will be given by both parties, and an order made. 

If there is a risk that notifying your partner or former partner of the application could induce more violence or intimidation, then it is possible to apply ‘ex-parte’ without notice. This means your abuser will be unaware of the application until it is served on them, at which point it comes into effect.

Once this is in place, there will then be a Court hearing which you both attend so that the Judge can either make the appropriate order or dismiss the application.


Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders Solicitors

Our specialist solicitors, based in London, provide a professional and efficient service. To chat our family lawyers call us on 020 7123 4600, email us at or make an online enquiry here. 


We are here to help guide you through what can be a stressful and difficult process, and to achieve the best result for you.


Lucy Marks specialises in all forms of family law applications, including high value financial applications on divorce.

If you would like to arrange a meeting or have any questions, please contact us or fill in the form to the right.


96 Park Street, London W1K 6NY
020 7123 4600