Today the Government have announced there will be new legislation in divorce law. This new law will update the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in due course. It will mean that, in the future when the legislation comes into force, divorcing couples will no longer have to ‘blame’ each other for the breakdown of their marriage. It is hoped the new law will help reduce family conflict.
At Hughes Paddison, we are specialists with a vast experience and expertise in helping the victims of domestic abuse.
The term domestic abuse covers not only violence, but also emotional and psychological and financial abuse, intimidation, threats, coercive, harassing and controlling behaviour, as well as sexual violence.
When you deal with Hughes Paddison you can be assured that you will be treated professionally and personably. Our specialist lawyers will work with you to understand your particular circumstances, bringing a pragmatic and cost effective approach to our advice. We will do our utmost to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be for different eventualities. We will help you understand all of the options that are available to you. We may suggest various factors to be taken into account which you may not have considered.
We act promptly to gain the protection required to keep you and your children safe, whilst providing sensitive support, advice and guidance along the way. This could be a non-molestation order, which may restrain or cease the harassment. Or it could be an occupation order, which can restrict the abuser from certain areas of the home, from returning to the home altogether or from coming within a certain distance of the home.
It may be that you are a victim of domestic abuse and have children with the perpetrator and are concerned about contact or living arrangements for the children. Allegations of domestic abuse are considered seriously by the Family Court given the impact that it can have upon children who are exposed to abusive behaviour, whether directly or indirectly, as well as the victim of domestic abuse.
If you have been served with an application and require advice, we can assist with this as well.
We understand that speaking openly about domestic abuse can be upsetting. Our Family Law specialists will listen to you and advise you in a sensitive manner, discreetly and in the strictest confidence.
Some frequently asked questions and answers above Domestic Abuse are set out below.
Frequently asked questions
What does abuse mean?
Many people question whether they are a victim of abuse as they have not been physically attacked and abuse has often been referred to as ‘domestic violence’. However domestic abuse takes many forms including stalking and online or digital abuse.
The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.
How can I get my partner out of the house?
In some cases the Family Court will make a type of injunction order called an Occupation order, which requires one party to leave the property (or not return to the property if they have already left) and can also deal with related issues such as who pays the household bills. The type of order made would depend upon your relationship with the other person, what rights you have in the property and what harmful behaviour has been experienced in the relationship. These are not long term orders and are usually in place for a fixed period or until financial matters are sorted out.
How quickly can I get an order to protect me from my ex?
In certain cases, you can apply for an emergency order which means you do not have to give the usual notice period before the application is considered by the Court. This is also known as ‘ex parte’ or ‘without notice’ orders and they are often applied for where it is deemed there is a ‘risk of significant harm’ to the applicant or the children.
Do I have to pay for my legal fees?
Public funding (legal aid) is available for domestic abuse cases if you meet certain criteria. In order to find out if you qualify you will need to contact the Legal Aid Agency on 0845 345 4345. Please note that at Hughes Paddison we are unable to assist on a public funding basis.
Our team offers a free 30 minute introductory appointment.
Call 01242 574244 or contact us to find out how our family law team can help you.