Occupation Order

Serving An Occupation Order

What’s it for? Controlling who lives in a property and restricting a respondent from being present in a certain area.

An occupation order is designed to help victims of domestic abuse who no longer feel safe living with the respondent due to violence or other intimidation. You may want to prevent the respondent from visiting the area or place that you and your children are living, or return to where you were living without the respondent being there.

You must be associated with your abuser in certain ways to apply for an occupation order. The terms of association are listed below:

  • If you are married or have been married to each other
  • You are / have been cohabitants with each other (including same sex couples)
  • You are relatives
  • You live or have previously lived in the same household
  • You formally agreed to marry each other (even if that agreement has since been broken)
  • You are not living together but have had an intimate relationship of significant duration
  • You have a child together, or parental responsibilities for the same child
  • You are involved in the same family proceedings, such as divorce or child contact arrangement

*You must have a legal right to occupy the home in question when applying for an occupation order. Either as a sole tenant, joint tenant or owner. Or you must have been married to or living with a partner who is the owner or tenant.

An occupation order can be applied for without notice. This means the order can initially be served without the victim having to appear in court and provides a fast means of short-term protection.

In an emergency situation the order can be served within hours by a professional process server without the victim having to appear in court. The order is filed with the local police, so they are aware and able to react accordingly in the event of any reported breach of the order.

If a person breaches an occupation order it is contempt of court and can carry severe penalties such as large fines and / or imprisonment.

Need more information on serving an occupation order? Contact us.

Please note: The above is not meant to constitute legal advice. The law changes regularly and as such we recommend speaking to a legal professional for clarification.

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