In the first instance, it’s always worth speaking to the police about any particular concerns that you may have. The reason for this is that if they can help, and often they can, it won’t cost you anything. If they can’t help for whatever reason, your discussions with them may mean that you have logged a complaint with them and that may be valuable evidence at a later stage. Although this may seem a bit worrying, , the police have officers that are trained to deal with issues of domestic violence or abuse.
It may be necessary to apply to the Court for orders that protect you and/or your children which are called ‘non molestation orders’ and perhaps an order that sets out who lives in a house that you may have shared with your current or former partner, known as an ‘occupation orders’. The seriousness of your situation may depend on how quickly an order can be obtained.
How long will it take to sort it out?
This may depend on the type of order you may need and whether you want a warning letter sent first to see if that helps. This will be discussed with you so that you can decide how best you think to deal with your own individual circumstances. If you are at immediate risk, orders are usually available from the Court very quickly and without notice to the other party. Whilst orders of the Court are available, it’s up to you how you want to deal with it, and that may depend on what has been happening . One of our very experienced lawyers will talk to you to find out your circumstances and then give you options about how you can start to resolve things. Together, we can find a way forward that is tailored to your situation and the final decisions remain with you.
Will I have to go to Court?
If you decide you need an order of the Court, you will need to be ready to attend Court with your lawyer.
Will I have to say anything at Court?
Sometimes you may need to be prepared to answer questions. You will provide a written statement to the Court, again with the help of your lawyer. You will normally only have to answer questions about your written statement if there is then a dispute about what you have said. Your lawyer will do the rest of the talking for you, whether to the Court or to the other party involved, or their lawyer.
Who will go to Court with me?
Either your chosen solicitor will go to Court with you, or we will instruct a specialist Barrister to represent you at Court (only after discussion with you), in which case a member of our support staff will go to Court with you to take notes and make sure that you are ok whilst at Court. You can have your solicitor there as well, although if you have a specialist Barrister represent you at Court, it’s a lot more expensive to have your solicitor there as well. It is your choice though, and will be discussed with you beforehand.
Will I be in a room with my (former) partner?
Separate waiting rooms can be requested. In the actual Court room you will see your former partner, however, you won’t be on your own at any time.
What if he/she doesn’t come to Court?
As long as we have been able to hand the other party copies of the papers so that they know about the court hearing, then the Court can make an order in their absence.
What happens once I have an order?
The other party needs to have a copy of the order and sometimes, it’s appropriate for the police to have a copy too. If there are problems after the order is made you may need to call the police and/or refer the matter back to your solicitor and perhaps the Court in order to deal with those further issues. This is known as enforcement and there may well be further costs as a result of further court proceedings.
Will the other party have to pay?
Sometimes the Court will make an order that the other party pays your costs, however, usually the other party has to have notice of the hearing and has to have an opportunity to come to Court to explain their side of the situation. If the Court then decides that you need an order, it is more likely that the other party will have to pay some or all of your costs.
What if I don’t want to go to Court?
As above, all of your options will be discussed with you so that you can think about the best way forward for you and your family. Sometimes, things settle down and with care and proper advice, you can still sort things out more amicably. It really depends what has been happening and how you feel about the situation. If you want to try to sort things out amicably, don’t be afraid to consider options such as mediation or the collaborative process. Do make sure though that you mention any worries that you have so that they can be properly addressed. It’s better to talk about these things early on and get the right information and assurances.
How much will it cost?
This will depend on what you want us to do. However, we will agree a fee for whatever work you want us to do on your behalf. Click here to go to our section dealing with costs and our fixed fee services. If your situation doesn’t fit into our current fixed fee, we will agree costs with you before anything is done so that you know what you will need to pay and can budget for those costs.
In some cases, legal aid may still be available for injunction orders. We do not hold a contract for legal aid work and therefore if you are eligible you may wish to contact a local firm that are able to access this funding on your behalf. If you need to find out your eligibility for legal aid, use the contact form to the right.