Legal Eagle: Seeking protection from court
I am currently in proceedings for my children having contact with their Dad.
I have been representing myself in proceedings and I have been doing handovers myself.
More recently these have been taking place outside my home.
Last week my ex started to pull up outside my house and ring me, asking me where I was and what I was wearing.
He was driving round the streets where I live.Due to his behaviour I was wary of him and had a friend round at the collection time.
When he arrived, he barged into the house and broke my front door. He began shouting at me and pinned me up against the wall by my throat.
My friend called the police and they removed him. I’m really scared and don’t know what to do, the children were home and they are scared too.
This sounds like a very difficult time. I am sure that you are aware that there have been cuts to Legal Aid which have effected things.
However, in the case of domestic violence you can still ask for court protection under Legal Aid.
From what you have described it may be that you could seek the protection of a non-molestation order. This type of protective order can be applied for on an emergency basis.
If you decide that you do want to seek a non-molestation order, this comes under the Family Law Act 1996 and as he is the father of your children and you have been married you are classed as an ‘associated person’.
The protection that the Court can offer you can stop the children’s Dad from harassing you, coming near you and being violent to you. If this is made on an emergency basis it means that he will not be there when the application is made.
There will then be a return date where he will have his chance to respond. If you do decide to get these orders then you will need to make sure that he knows about the orders and is ‘served’ with them so that they are enforceable by the police if he tries to do something that the order stops him doing.
In respect of the children and what they have witnessed this is a matter for you to consider. You may want to think about how the children are and ask them what their views are about contact. You need to consider that the Court is concerned with the welfare of the children and what is in their best interests.
* Ben Hoare Bell LLP has specialist Domestic Violence and Family Law Solicitors who can advise you in situations such as this. To speak to a Solicitor please phone 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for more information.