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An Occupation Order is a Court Order that can be obtained to specify who can and cannot live in a property in order to protect victims of domestic abuse (which not only includes physical abuse but other forms such as emotional or financial abuse).

An Occupation Order can exclude a person from the home even if they have a legal right to be there, for example if the home is in their sole name. An Occupation Order can also deal with who pays the rent, mortgage or other outgoings on the property and how the furniture and contents should be dealt with.

Occupation Orders can be applied for on an urgent basis and can be granted without notice, which means without the other person (the “Respondent”) being made aware that the application is being made. The Respondent is then personally served with the Order once granted.

In order to apply you must be “associated” with the Respondent by either having been married (or having entered into a civil partnership), having lived together in the same household in a family scenario, have an intimate physical relationship of significant duration or both be parties to the same family proceedings (e.g. Non-Molestation Order, divorce or Children Act proceedings).

If a person breaches an Occupation Order it is contempt of Court and they can be fined up to £5,000 or even imprisoned for up to 2 years for breaching the terms of the order.

If you or someone you know requires help or assistance, contact Ramsdens on 01484 821500 to speak to a member of our Family team in confidence.

Always remember that if you are in immediate danger you should contact the police on 999.