Our Family Law specialist, Gabriella Freeman, answers some of the most common questions about Non-Molestation Order.
What can I do if my ex won’t leave me alone?
If you are in a relationship you believe to be abusive, then you may be eligible to apply for a Non-Molestation Order (NMO). An NMO is a form of injunction, applied for via the family Court, and is granted to prevent an “associated person” from molestation.
What does an NMO prevent?
An NMO can prevent the respondent from several wide-ranging actions, including but not limited to:
- Using or threatening violence against you (or encouraging anyone else to do so)
- Not communicating with you (this can be specified to via telephone, in person, email etc.)
- Not going to certain places while you are present
Who is an “associated person”?
An associated person in respect of an NMO can be a current or previous person with whom you had a romantic relationship, a family member, someone you live or used to live with or the parent of your children.
What is “molestation”?
In the context of an NMO, the term “molestation” means “harm”, and addresses not only physical harm, but also harassment, intimidation, emotional and psychological abuse, threats, coercive and controlling behaviour and financial abuse.
When applying for an NMO, you will need to provide a statement explaining why you believe you are in danger. This is subjective and the Court will assess whether an NMO is appropriate or not dependant on your case’s circumstances.
How long will the NMO last?
There is no specific duration, but NMO’s generally have a duration of 6 months to 12 months. After the expiration of the NMO it is possible to apply for an extension if you still feel in danger.
What if an NMO is breached?
Breaching an NMO is a criminal offence and will be dealt with by the Court, possibly resulting in imprisonment for up to five years.
Can an NMO be discharged?
Either party of the NMO (the applicant or the respondent) can request that the Court discharges the Order. This should be done in writing, with an explanation as to the situation stating why they believe the Order should be discharged. The Court will then decide whether it is appropriate to discharge the NMO.
Will an NMO affect my spouse’s contact with our children?
No, the NMO is in respect of you (the applicant) and not the children. If you have shared care and contact between you and your spouse is required, then you may need to seek a reliable third party to help in the transfer of the children from your care to your spouse’s.
Do you have more questions about any of the above points or see yourself requiring the help of a specialist to deal with a family law matter? We are here for you so get in touch today and together we can make sure you are in a good and secure position.
Remember: If you believe you are in immediate risk of harm, please contact the police.