Legal Orders

Child Arrangement Order

Child arrangement orders have replaced what were previously known as “contact orders” and “residence orders”. “Custody” and “access” are very old terms which are no longer used by the Family Court.

A child arrangement order is an order setting out

  1. Who the child will live with, and when?
  2. Who the child will spend time, or otherwise have contact with and when?

The court can order that the child lives with one parent or both parents and specify when the child lives with each parent.

The court can add conditions to a child arrangement order (for example a condition that the father is not to consume alcohol during this time with the child.) The court can also add activity directions to a child arrangement order ( for example, asking the parents to attend a course which provides information on how to deal with challenges faced by the separated parents) If anyone fails to comply with a child arrangement s order, the court can make an enforcement order requiring that person to undertake unpaid work, or, in exceptional circumstances can imprison a parent who is failing to comply with an order.

Restraining Order.

A restraining order is a legal order issued by the court to protect a victim from any type of abuse, threats, or harassment.

It is a court order that is issued in combination with criminal proceedings, therefore, to obtain one, you will need to report the individual to the Police and take them to court for their alleged crimes.

A restraining Order is a legally binding order of the court, enforceable by law enforcement officials as well as the court. Such protective orders are issued, not only to protect victims from violence, but from other forms of abuse, nuisance, and stalking. The specific provisions of a restraining order vary by jurisdiction, as well as by the specifics of the case.

Prohibited Steps Order

  • A prohibited steps order, set out by the court, can have the following results:
  • Stopping a parent from allowing a child to have contact with a certain person
  • Ensuring a child’s surname isn’t changed
  • Making sure a parent doesn’t remove a child from the jurisdiction (England & Wales)
  • Preventing the geographical relocation of the child within the country
  • Removing a child from school.

You can apply for a prohibited steps order online using the following link:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-c100-application-under-the-children-act-1989-for-a-child-arrangements-prohibited-steps-specific-issue-section-8-order-or-to-vary-or-discharge

You must show you’ve attended a meeting about mediation first – except in certain cases (there’s been domestic abuse, for example).

Read guidance CB001 on making an application: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-court-applications-that-involve-children-cb1

Non Molestation Order

A Non-Molestation Order (Non-Mol) is an order which protects the victim (the applicant) from someone (the respondent). Usually, the respondent will be prohibited from molesting (using threatening or intimidating behaviour, using violence, or harassing the applicant) the applicant, and/or people close to the applicant and/or any children.

You can make an application for a non-molestation order and/or an occupation order at the Family Court. The application form is a FL401 which is available from any court or online using the following link https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1140663/FL401_0223_save.pdf

Support applying for a Non-Molestation and/or Occupation order

CourtNav is a free online tool (provided by RCJ Citizens Advice) that will help you in putting together your application. The tool will also put you in touch with legal advisors to discuss your options. Visit CourtNav to register and apply If you choose to use CourtNav, you will not need to complete this FL401 form or a supporting statement – CourtNav will complete both for you.

Occupation Order

The general aim of an occupation order is to regulate the occupation of the family home. Occupation orders are not only to exclude someone from the family home, they can also be used to:

  • Enforce the right to remain in occupation of the property.
  • Require permission to enter and remain in the property.
  • Regulate the occupation of the property.
  • Prohibit, suspend, or restrict the exercise of occupation in the property.
  • Require the departure from the property.
  • Exclude from a defined area in which the property is located.

You can make an application for a Non-Molestation order and/or an Occupation order at the Family Court. The application form is a FL401 which is available from any court or online using the following link https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1140663/FL401_0223_save.pdf

Support applying for a Non-Molestation and/or Occupation order

CourtNav is a free online tool (provided by RCJ Citizens Advice) that will help you in putting together your application. The tool will also put you in touch with legal advisors to discuss your options. Visit CourtNav to register and apply If you choose to use CourtNav, you will not need to complete this FL401 form or a supporting statement – CourtNav will complete both for you.

Funding for domestic violence injunctions

The application for a domestic violence injunction at the family court is free. However, if you wish to instruct a solicitor or a barrister to represent you, that will cost money. You may be eligible for legal aid to cover the cost of your lawyer, if you meet the financial criteria (the means test) and the test for whether it is reasonable to provide legal aid for your case (the merits test) . Click on the following link for the legal aid calculator –  https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

If you cannot access a solicitor or barrister then you can make the applications yourself, without a lawyer.  You can take a McKenzie Friend with you to court.