When you get divorced, in an ideal world you will be able to come to an agreement about plans for caring for your children and dividing your property. However, in some particularly difficult or complicated divorces there may be difficulties and an injunction may be necessary for the safety of you and/or your children. The following injunctions are relevant to England and Wales and may be helpful to you if are particularly concerned about domestic abuse or child abduction.
Domestic abuse injunctions
The injunctions that you may be considering applying for if you are a victim of domestic abuse are a non-molestation order, an occupation order or a restraining order. These court orders aim to prevent your ex-partner being able to harm you or your child. A non-molestation order prevents your ex from harassing or threatening you, an occupation order prevents your ex from living in your family home or in the surrounding area and a restraining order prevents them from coming near to places that you or your children may be. It may be possible to get a power of arrest attached to one of these orders so the individual will be arrested if they break the injunction.
Child abduction injunctions
Certain injunctions can help reduce the threat of your child being abducted by your ex-spouse. One option you have is that the contact order – the order outlining when your child can be seen by an ex – includes a requirement that all the visits are supervised. A prohibited steps order may also be helpful to you, this prevents your ex partner from making any decisions about your child’s upbringing. Another option is that the child is made a ‘ward’ of the High Court. Wardship prevents a child being taken out of the United Kingdom. You can also prevent the risk of the child being taken out of the country if your ex has to surrender any passport that has the child’s details on it.
If you are worried about domestic violence or abduction, make sure you talk to a lawyer as soon as possible and talk to the police. There is help out there for you and you are not alone. Getting these injunctions could help put your mind at rest or could make a situation worse, so do make sure that you talk to people about your situation and consider your options carefully to do what is best for you.