LEGAL EAGLE: My violent partner refuses to leave my home, what can I do?
I have been in a relationship with my partner for five years. We live in a rented property together with my son from a previous relationship.
The relationship was good at first and I saw a future with him, however after my partner moved in with my I noticed his behaviour start to change. When I visited my friends he would ask lots of questions when I returned home and accused me of seeing other men. I thought this was strange but did not think anything more of it because it was not true. Around one year ago, my partner’s behaviour became worse. He is very aggressive and physically assaults me. I asked him to leave but he refuses. What can I do?
You are legally entitled not to be harassed, pestered or threatened by him. Usually the first step we could take to prevent your ex-partner’s behaviour is to send a warning letter from a solicitor. However given that your partner is still living in the property with you this may aggravate his behaviour, therefore it is more appropriate to apply to Court for a family law injunction called a Non-Molestation Order. This is a Court Order which usually lasts for either 6 or 12 months and contains terms preventing your partner from contacting you or approaching your property. If your partner breached the Non-Molestation Order he would be committing a criminal offence which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. You should also consider reporting your partner’s behaviour to the Police as this may amount to a criminal offence.
In relation to your property that is shared with your partner, it may be possible for you to apply to Court for an Occupation Order which is a type of Order requiring your partner to vacate the property. The Court will take into account various factors when deciding whether to make an order requiring your partner to leave the property, such as; housing needs of each of you and any children, financial resources, the likely effect of any order and the conduct of both you and your partner. The Court will also wish to determine if you and your son are likely to suffer significant harm at the hands of your partner. If this appears to be the case, the Court must make an Order. These types of Orders are time limited and will depend on the circumstances.
For family law advice such as this please contact Ben Hoare Bell LLP Solicitors on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.