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Received a notice of non-molestation application or an ex parte non-molestation order from the family court? our expert family law solicitors can provide legal help and assistance with contesting the non-molestation order or application.

Responding to non-molestation orders or applications requires some careful thought and consideration. It is all too easy for people to get caught up in the case because of the emotional attachment between the parties. Many respondents feel aggrieved when they see that a person (typically an ex-partner) has sought to take out a court order against them on the basis of what they say are vicious lies. With that, many people opt to fight against an order simply because they do not want the applicant to ‘win’, or for their own name to be blackened. However, a respondent should always consider what challenging the order is actually going to gain. 

Next Hearing After The Ex Parte Non-Molestation Order

Within 14 days of the ex parte non-molestation order being made against a person, the court would list the matter for hearing whereby the Respondent would get an opportunity to respond to the ex parte non-molestation order.

What Options Are Available To The Respondent After Ex Parte Non-Molestation Order?

The Respondent can either:

  • oppose the order and succeed in proving the applicant wrong; or
  • he/she can opt not to oppose the order or agree to undertakings (which is a promise to the court not to do things) on the basis that he/she does not accept the allegations that have been made against him/her.

What Steps Should Be Taken By Respondent Upon Receipt Of An Ex Parte Non-Molestation Order?

The steps that the Respondent should take upon receipt of the ex parte non-molestation order (without notice non-molestation order) may include the following:

Getting Early Legal Advice

It is very important for the respondent to get early legal advice. Many respondents will tend to attend the hearing, only to tell the Judge that they would like an adjournment to see a legal professional. At that point, the case will end up having a minimum of three hearings before one can see any real progress being made. Owing to legal aid no longer being available to respondents in non-molestation order proceedings, it is a worthwhile investment to obtain legal advice, even if that is limited to a conference as to what approach to take at a forthcoming hearing.

Our family law solicitors can offer a respondent to non-molestation order invaluable guidance as to how to respond to non-molestation order or application, and thus the respondent will inevitably have a solid insight into the law, as well as an understanding of the particular practices of that court.

Gathering Your Evidence

If the respondent wants to contest or oppose the domestic violence allegation made in the application or ex parte non-molestation order, he/she should gather his evidence for rebuttal of the allegation of domestic violence. The respondent should give careful consideration to the evidence that he/she needs to help support his case.

Normally, the applicant will have his/her own statement and may also have witnesses, medical and police evidence. It is therefore important to see what the respondent does have to rebut the applicant's allegations? The court approaches these cases on the understanding that it is for the applicant to prove his/her case on the balance of probabilities (i.e. 51%) – if you are unable to get any independent evidence to support your case, it is likely that this will make it all the more difficult to successfully oppose the non-molestation order application.

If the respondent intends to oppose or contest the non-molestation order or application, our family law solicitors will be able to advise the respondent on the relevant evidence which should be put together in order to rebut the allegations of domestic violence made by the applicant. Our family law solicitors will also advise on all the relevant court procedures and any pre-cautionary measures which should be taken by the respondent.

Adhering To The Terms Of The Order

The respondent should remember to adhere to the terms of the order. Before the court hears your initial position and possibly even after the initial position if the case is being listed to entertain a fully contested hearing, then the order will usually remain in place. This will specify terms, typically that you must not contact the applicant/attend at his/her house etc. It is vital that these terms are adhered to for the life of the order, firstly because it will make an incredibly poor impression on the court if not, but also because breach of an order is a criminal offence and one could therefore find himself/herself arrested/with a conviction simply for ignoring the order. Courts take these matters very seriously and, irrespective of whether the order is justified, whilst it exists, it must be adhered to.

How Much Sunrise Solicitors Charge For Contesting Non-Molestation Order Or Application?

Our Fixed Fees For Contesting A Non-Molestation Order Or Application

Our fixed fees for various stages of contesting a non-molestation order are given in the table below. The agreed fixed fee will be dependent on the volume of work involved in the case and the complexity of the matter. Please be advised that our fixed fees do not cover the Barrister's fees.

Casework Stage Fixed Fee Range (Acting For The Respondent)

All the work until First Hearing date.

From £650 + VAT To £1,000 + VAT
Interim Hearing (if listed) From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT
Fact Finding Hearing (if listed) From £1,500 + VAT To £2,500 + VAT

Final Hearing

Preparation for Final Hearing which includes the following:

  • complying with court directions;
  • preparing any witness statements;
  • instructing and briefing the Barrister for the court hearing;
  • attending any pre-hearing conference with the barrister, where necessary;
  • making necessary preparations for the final hearing;
  • attending the family court for Final Hearing to assist the Barrister in the case.
From £2,500 + VAT To £4,000 + VAT

Our Hourly Rates For Contesting Non-Molestation Order Or Application

  • Our team of family law solicitors will charge on hourly rate basis with hourly rate starting from £120 + VAT per hour for contesting non-molestation order or application. The agreed hourly rate will be dependent on the complexity of the matter.

How Much Is The Court Fee For Contesting Non-Molestation Order Or Application?

  • There is no court fee to be paid for contesting non-molestation order or application.