Domestic Violence


Cygnet Law has a dedicated team of domestic violence solicitors to support anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse. We can provide support at very short notice, so protective measures are in place for you and your children if you have any. We pride ourselves in our sympathetic approach to all matters surrounding domestic violence, no matter the issues of your personal experience. Our advice is tailored specifically to your current and past situations whether physical, emotional, sexual and or financial abuse. Our team of solicitors can give you advice surrounding matters of protecting you and your children and take appropriate action for protective measures.

If you need more information about the steps we can take to protect you and your children, we’ve covered our services below.

Non-Molestation Orders

Non-molestation orders are court orders for when you need protection from someone who is threatening, intimidating, harassing or being violent towards you. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

What is domestic abuse?

There is no legal definition of domestic violence. However, the Government defines domestic violence as not always physical violence, it can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • threats and intimidation
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

If you believe that you or someone else could be a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn, or being isolated from family and friends.
  • having bruises, burns or bite marks.
  • having finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food or pay bills.
  • not being allowed to leave the house, or stopped from going to college or work.
  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters.
  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless.
  • being pressured into sex.
  • being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting.

A non-molestation order can protect you and any relevant child from domestic violence or harassment. You can apply for a non-molestation order even if you still want to (or have to) live with your abuser.

Examples of what a non-molestation order might include:

  • Your abuser must not be violent, threaten violence, intimidate, pester or harass you.
  • Your abuser must not contact you by telephone, email, social media or in person.
  • Your abuser must not attend or contact for any reason your place of work.
  • Your abuser must not ask a third party i.e. a family member or friend to threaten you or contact you on their behalf.

Non-molestation orders can be applied for without notice and on an urgent basis. If you feel at risk of imminent violence you should contact the police. Non-molestation orders are considered a criminal offence when breached by your abuser.

Occupation Orders

An Occupation order is similar to a non-molestation order, however these orders control who can legally stay in, or return to, the family home e.g. if someone should be excluded from the family home despite a legal right to reside there for violence or abuse.

Occupation orders are made to ensure the safety of you and your children. You can apply for this order if you rent or own your home. You can apply for an occupation order against a husband, wife, civil partner or family member if you reside in the same home. An occupation order can also set out who must pay the rent or mortgage, repair and maintain the home.

An occupation order can be applied for without notice and on an urgent basis. If you feel at risk of imminent violence you should contact the police.

Issues with Children

We understand the many complexities that come with abusive relationships, including the care of your children. We take the protection of children seriously, which is why we strive to achieve the best result for you and your children. There are varying protective measures we can assemble, including:

  • Child Arrangement Orders.
  • Prohibited Steps Orders.

What is a Child Arrangement Order?

A child arrangements order is an order which details who a child should live with and who the child can spend time with and for how long.  

A Child Arrangements Order is created based on the individuals involved, factoring the best considerations for your children. When the court is deciding whether to grant a Child Arrangements Order, the child’s welfare is its primary consideration.  The court will follow the ‘welfare checklist’, which covers lots of points including the child’s wishes and feelings, their needs and the likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances.  

Our solicitors also have a wealth of experience in representing clients in complex matters including:

  • Parental alienation.
  • Surrogacy.
  • Relocation, including International relocation.
  • Grandparents rights. 

What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

A Prohibited Steps Order is an order the court can make, which prohibits the other parent from removing children from the care of the parent whom the child lives with. This order can help to alleviate domestic violence settings, especially if there is a concern the child is at risk of abuse and controlling behaviour.

If you’re separated from your partner, and you’re worried they’ll carry out acts which can harm your children, a Prohibited Steps Order can apply and prevent them from harmful activities. We understand your children’s safety is your prime concern, so when this order is considered by the court, your children’s welfare is paramount.

The courts heavily consider children’s welfare whenever it comes to orders, so rest assured if you need to provide protection for your children, we can aid you and your children’s safety. Our domestic violence solicitors will do their utmost to ensure you have the best protection in place for you and your family.

If you experience psychological, physical or financial abuse from someone you know, you can reach out to us and we’ll support you every step of the way.

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