Our Assistance Sectors
We focus solely of Family Law to ensure you get the best possible support leading to the best outcomes. As a Family Law Independent Lay Advocate (McKenzie Friend) I can support and guide you in any of the following areas:
Sometimes situations will arise in your family life which make legal intervention necessary. This can range from preventing your ex from taking your children out of the country, to setting out who has the right to live in the family home after divorce or separation.
If you have made the decision to end your marriage or civil partnership, then you will need to follow a number of divorce procedures to successfully obtain a divorce.
Injunctions and Emergency Protection Orders
If there is a risk of domestic violence and you fear for the safety of yourself and/or your children, its makes legal intervention may is necessary. This can range from preventing further incident.
There are several Court Orders and Injunctions available which can apply to help you achieve a more secure future for you and your family.
To help you understand the options available, we have outlined seven of the most common Family Court Orders and Injunctions available in in England and Wales:
Non Molestation Orders
A Non Molestation Order is a type of Court Injunction. It can be used to prevent your partner or ex-partner from displaying violent or threatening behaviour towards you and your children. This includes intimidation, pestering and harassment.
If there is a risk of domestic violence and you fear for the safety of yourself and/or your children, a Non Molestation Order should be applied for without delay.
A Non-Molestation Order can be adapted to your individual circumstances to ensure that you are protected.
For example, a Non Molestation Order may stop a particular person:
Being on the same road as your home or child’s school
Damaging your property
Communicating with you other than through a third party.
An Occupation Order is a type of Court Injunction. It can be used to control who lives in the family home. It can also restrict a particular person from entering the area surrounding the family home.
Occupation Orders are often used alongside Non Molestation Orders. They help people who want to remain in the family home, but who are scared to do so because of the threat of domestic violence.
With an Occupation Order, you can prevent a violent ex-partner from being in the property or coming near it – even if he/she is on the Tenancy Agreement or the mortgage.
A Maintenance Order is a Court Order that states how much Spousal Maintenance someone must pay their ex following divorce. This is different to Child Maintenance, which is dealt with separately.
The Court may order Spousal Maintenance is paid if one person earns significantly less than the other, and needs additional money to ensure their needs are taken care of.
Sometimes this happens where one person has given up work during the marriage in order to care for the children, meaning that when the relationship breaks down, he/she has very little money or career prospects of their own.
For example, a Maintenance Order can say:
How much money should be paid and how frequently i.e. £1,000 per month
When Spousal Maintenance payments should stop.
Child Arrangements Order
A Child Arrangements Order used to be known as a Residence Order. This Court Order sets out the living arrangements for a child or children, including which parent the child/children will live with for the majority of the time.
A Child Arrangements Order will be needed if it cannot be decided with whom a child should live. In these cases, the Court will make a decision based on what is in the child’s best interest. The parent with whom the child lives for most of the time is known as the ‘Resident Parent’, and he/she is responsible for making day-to-day decisions about the child’s upbringing.
For example, a Child Arrangements Order can deal with:
Which parent the child will live with
How much time the child will spend with the other parent (if any)
When a child will spend time with the other parent
Whether contact with the other parent should be supervise
Specific Issue Order
A Specific Issue Order is a type of Court Order that is used when people with Parental Responsibility for a child disagree on a particular matter, such as what a child’s surname should be after divorce.
As someone with Parental Responsibility, you are allowed to have a say on a child’s upbringing. If those with Parental Responsibility have opposing views on a certain subject, a Specific Issue Order can be applied for. The Court will then consider what is in the child’s best interests and make the decision about that particular issue on your behalf.
For example, a Specific Issue Order may deal with:
How a child should be educated
What medical treatment a child should receive
A child’s religious upbringing
Whether a child can be taken outside of England & Wales
Changing a child’s name or surname.
Prohibited Steps Order
A Prohibited Steps Order is a type of Court Order that prevents someone from exercising their powers of Parental Responsibility, meaning they can’t do things like remove a child from the country.
People with Parental Responsibility have a right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. But if others with Parental Responsibility disagree with another parent’s actions (or proposed actions) and want to stop it happening, a Prohibited Steps Order can be applied for. If successful, this will remove that individual’s right to act.
For example, a Prohibited Steps Order may:
Prevent a parent from taking a child out of the country
Prevent a parent from changing a child’s surname
Prevent a parent from relocating with a child
Prevent the child from receiving certain medical treatment.
The information on this page is for general guidance only and should not be treated as a definitive guide or be regarded as legal advice. If you need more details or information about the matters referred to on these web page please seek independent formal legal advice. This information was correct at the time of going to press in September 2020.
The law in this area is subject to change, we cannot be held responsible if changes to the law outdated this publication. Links provided on our website are for your convenience. It does not imply reliability or endorsement by us, and we accept no liability in respect of the content.