Sadly when relationships breakdown on occasion this involves some form of domestic abuse. If you are a victim of domestic abuse whether physical, emotional or financial then there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your children and our expert team can help you.

No one should have to suffer domestic abuse. Thankfully, if you are a victim of then there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your children.

What is domestic abuse?

The first important thing to understand is that domestic abuse does not just mean physical violence by the abuser against the victim. The term ‘domestic abuse’ covers much more than just that.

The Government has defined domestic abuse to include any behaviour that consists of any of the following:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Violent or threatening behaviour
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour, such as preventing the victim from seeing friends or family
  • Economic abuse, i.e. any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on the victim’s ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services
  • Psychological, emotional or other abuse

It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

The behaviour may be behaviour “towards” the victim, despite the fact that it consists of conduct directed at another person, for example the victim’s child.

If you are the victim of any such behaviour you can apply to the court for two types of order to protect yourself: occupation orders and non-molestation orders. Both types of order can, if necessary, be obtained on an urgent basis.

Occupation Orders

An occupation order regulates who lives in the family home. It can, for example, require an abuser to move out of the home, to stay away from the home, or to allow a victim they have forced out of the home back into the property.

In deciding whether to grant an occupation order the court will consider all of the circumstances of the case, including the housing needs and resources of both parties and any children, the financial resources of both parties, the likely effect that making an order, or not making an order, will have on the parties and any children, and the conduct of the parties in relation to each other.

The exact type of occupation order that can be applied for, and how long the order will last, will depend on the parties’ legal entitlement to the home. The court can also make orders as to who is to pay for repairs and outgoings etc on the property whilst the order lasts.

An occupation order will usually have a power of arrest attached to it, in which case a police officer may arrest the abuser for breach of the order, and have them taken before the court to be punished.

Non-molestation Orders

A non-molestation order is an order prohibiting an abuser from ‘molesting’ their victim, or a relevant child. Essentially, not to act in the way that they previously have.

In deciding whether to make a non-molestation order and, if so, in what form, the court will have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of the applicant and of any relevant child.

A non-molestation order may be made for a specified period, or until further order. A non-molestation order carries an automatic power of arrest.

A non-molestation order can be enforced either by reporting the abuser’s behaviour to the police and requesting them to commence criminal proceedings, or by asking the court that made the order to have the abuser arrested and/or punished, for example by being fined or sent to prison.

How Prince Family Law can help?

At Prince Family Law we have experience in dealing with Non Molestation Orders designed to protect anyone subject to domestic abuse and Occupation Orders that can order one party to leave the house and not return.  

We fully appreciate this is a very sensitive issue and if you have suffered or are suffering from domestic abuse please contact one of our specialist team at Prince Family Law who will advise you as to the appropriate steps you may take to provide you and your children with maximum protection.  

Alternatively if an allegation of domestic abuse is made against you we can advise you of the law and your rights.

Meet the Team

Rachel Barlow
Rachel Barlow
Chartered Legal Executive

Rachel has spent over 22 years practising at local Derbyshire and South Yorkshire firms and is widely recognised as an expert in all matrimonial matters.

Qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2003 Rachel has a wealth of experience and expertise.

Rachel is an all-round specialist with a particular emphasis upon financial settlements, arrangements concerning children and cohabitation disputes.

Rachel deals with her cases in a sensitive manner with a friendly and down to earth approach at all times. Wherever possible Rachel will seek a negotiated settlement but is a tenacious litigator should court proceedings be necessary.

Married with two teenage children in her spare time Rachel enjoys going to the gym and socialising with family and friends.

David Prince
David Prince
Managing Director / Solicitor

David founded Prince Family Law in 2005 having previously spent 17 years as a family law partner with a leading…

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Sarah Woodward
Sarah Woodward
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Sarah has practiced family law since 1995 and trained at a large city practice. Sarah specialises in all aspects of …

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Lisa O’Connor
Lisa O’Connor
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Lisa is a Chartered Legal Executive and Director of the firm. Lisa O’Connor joined Prince Family Law in 2008 having …

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Carey New
Carey New
Chartered Legal Executive

Carey has practised Family Law since 1999 and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas including financial settlements…

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Adam Kidd
Adam Kidd
Solicitor

Adam has practised family law since qualification in 2016.  Adam graduated from Birmingham University in 2013

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Robert Gallon
Robert Gallon
Solicitor

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 with a Degree in Law and History and completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Skills Robert practiced in Scotland dealing predominately in family law cases including divorce and arrangements for children.

Kelsie Thornton
Kelsie Thornton
Paralegal

Kelsie has been working in family law for the last 4 years having previously worked in a well known Doncaster firm.

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Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall
Practice Manager

Sarah Hall

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Anna Miller
Anna Miller
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Helen Fletcher
Helen Fletcher
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Rachel Lamb
Rachel Lamb
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Barrie Start
Barrie Start
Legal Cashier

Legal Cashier Barrie has worked in Chesterfield as an accounts manager for all of his working life. He is well known and highly regarded by …

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Meet the Team