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Non-Molestation Orders: How they work and how to apply

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Non-Molestation Orders: How they work and how to apply

If you’ve experienced issues with an individual who has used or threatened violence against you or your child, a Non-Molestation Order may be able to help.

In this article, Family Law Expert Simon Immins outlines how Non-Molestation Orders work, how to apply and more…

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

A Non-Molestation Order is a Court Order which prevents someone from using or threatening violence against you and/or a child or molesting a person in anyway.

Molesting covers a whole array of different actions and behaviours and includes:

  • intimidation
  • pestering
  • persistent abuse by text messages or telephone calls
  • threats
  • harassment
  • punching and slapping
  • hair pulling
  • throwing objects
  • spitting

What does a Non-Molestation Order do?

A Non-Molestation Order is made by the Court to protect you from being hurt or attacked, whether physically, mentally, or virtually, either directly by a particular person or indirectly by a third party on somebody else’s behalf. 

A Non-Molestation Order can also be used to keep a person away from a particular area, such as your home or workplace, or from coming within a certain distance of you, such as 100 metres, so that you have a protective barrier.

What is the difference between a Non-Molestation Order and a Restraining Order?

A Non-Molestation Order is made in the Civil Courts and is between connected parties, such as married couples, unmarried couples, former partners and family members. 

Restraining Order is made in the Criminal Courts and can be made against any person, whether they are connected to you or not. Both Orders can result in imprisonment if they are breached.

How to apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

The process of applying for a Non-Molestation Order is very simple, you just have to fill out an application form and send it to the Court together with your supporting evidence.

At Frettens, our supportive Family Team can assist you in gathering evidence for and submitting this Order.  We can advise what evidence would be best to include and in what format.

For more tailored advice on this, you can call us on 01202 499255 for a free initial chat.

What are the grounds for a Non-Molestation Order?

To apply for a Non-Molestation Order you need to evidence that there is a risk of harm to yourself and/or a relevant child.  Risk of harm can include a whole array of behaviours, including the items listed above under molesting as well as:

  • repeat abusive telephone calls
  • pestering and harassment by messaging
  • threats, intimidation or abusive comments and/or photos posted on social media

Do you need evidence for a Non-Molestation Order?

When you make an application for a Non-Molestation Order you need to submit a Statement with your application. Your Statement will need to include items such as:

  • the reason for your application
  • information, including dates and details, of incidents that are relevant to your application
  • you can reference past incidents of abuse and any previous applications
  • the earliest incident of abuse
  • the worst incident of abuse
  • the most recent incident of abuse
  • the effect of the abuse on you and/or any relevant child
  • whether the police have been contacted or any other protective measures sought
  • whether there have been any criminal proceedings and/or warnings
  • whether you have consulted your GP, hospital or other form of medical assistance
  • whether there has been any Social Services involvement

As well as your Statement, if you have any supporting evidence such as police crime numbers, medical reports, or photographs, these should also be used in support of your application.

Do I have to pay for a Non-Molestation Order?

There is no Court fee to pay when submitting your application, but if you seek legal advice, which is recommended, there will be fees involved.

Legal Aid is available in some circumstances, so it is always worth checking your eligibility for this on the Gov.UK site here.

Related: Costs orders in family matters and how they work

How long does a Non-Molestation Order take?

This depends on your circumstances, and the urgency of your application. Once you have submitted your application, you can sometimes get a hearing as quickly as the same day, or an Order can be made the same day the Court considers your application.

It really does depend on the circumstances of your case and the availability of Judges at your local Court.

If an Order is made on consideration of your application, a hearing will always be listed for two weeks after the date of the Order so that the person the Order has been made against has an opportunity to object and/or defend the application.

Do you have to go to Court for a Non-Molestation Order?

Regardless of whether or not the Court make an Order based on your application, you will have to attend Court for at least one hearing so that the other party has the opportunity to raise objections and/or defend the application.

The number of hearings you need to attend will depend on the circumstances of the case.

Can a Non-Molestation Order be rejected?

Yes, the Court has the power to reject an application if they do not feel there is any merit to the application, or they feel you have not evidenced the seriousness of the allegations you have raised.

Again, this is why it can be key to have a legal advisor on side to assist you in making the application.  They can ensure that your application is well evidenced, and the seriousness of the allegations is well demonstrated.

How long does a Non-Molestation Order last?

This, again, depends on the circumstances of your case.

Generally, a Non-Molestation Order is made for either six months or twelve months. You do have the opportunity to apply to extend the Non-Molestation Order beyond this period if needed.

Can you get a Non-Molestation Order without a solicitor?

Yes, it is up to you if you want to instruct solicitors to prepare the documentation and/or represent you at Court. 

You must bear in mind, however, that if you do not instruct a solicitor to represent you, you will need to represent yourself at the hearing before the Judge and before the person you have made an application against.

The risk of having an Order rejected is arguably higher when you don’t have an experienced legal advisor to represent you, and having such a person on side can prove crucial in ensuring the Order is made.

Bright and experienced Family Solicitors

If you have any questions following this article, or would like to instruct us to assist you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our bright Family Team.

We offer a free initial chat for all new clients, so you can speak to us to iron out the details and discuss your circumstances before committing to anything.

You can call us on 01202 499255 or fill out the form at the top of this page to find out more.


The content of this article, blog or video is not intended as specific legal advice. For tailored assistance, please contact a member of our team.