You can challenge a non-molestation order/application made against you if you believe that the non-molestation order or application against you is baseless and not corroborated by any evidence. Our highly skilled divorce and family law solicitors can help you dispute a non-molestation order. Ask a question to our expert team of divorce & family law solicitors for free advice online or book an appointment for detailed legal advice for opposing a non-molestation order or application.

Responding To Non-Molestation Order/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. 

Return 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 give undertaking (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 seek legal advice and representations by a family law solicitor. 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 from a specialist divorce and family law solicitor, 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 a 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. Ask a question to our expert team of divorce & family law solicitors for free advice on contesting non-molestation order/application. If you wish to have detailed legal advice concerning your matter, you can request an appointment with our family law solicitors for just £80 (VAT included)

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 family 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 non molestation order made against the respondent. Before the family 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 Can We Help?

Our specialist team of divorce and family law solicitors can provide expert legal advice and representations for contesting non-molestation order or application. The work to be carried out by our divorce and family law solicitors in relation to your application for challenging non-molestation order may entail the following:

  • taking detailed information from you relating to allegations of domestic violence and discussing the same with you in detail to understand your version of the story;
  • advising you on the relevant documentary evidence which you may be able to provide for the rebuttal of the allegations of domestic violence;
  • assessing the relevant documents to be submitted in support of the rebuttal of allegations of domestic violence;
  • providing you legal advice on the weaknesses and strengths of your matter and advising you how to best proceed with the case in your given circumstances;
  • advising you on the court procedures to be followed in relation to court proceedings for disputing non-molestation order;
  • advising you on the possibility of making a cross application against the petitioner on the basis of any incidents of domestic violence which you as a respondent suffered at the hands of the petitioner;
  • advising you undertaking to the court to dispose of the proceedings at return hearing date and discussing with you the possibility of the undertaking being accepted by the petitioner and the family court;
  • advising you on the implications of giving an undertaking and breaching the undertaking;
  • advising you on the implications of non-mlestation order and breaching the non-molestation order;
  • preparing your position statement and submitting the same to the family court along with appropriate evidence;
  • complying with all the court directions as set out in the court order;
  • representing you in your family court hearing and proceeding with the matter as per agreed plan of action agreed in advance.

How Much We Charge?

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 £700 + 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 £150 + VAT to £250 + VAT per hour for contesting non-molestation order or application. The agreed hourly rate will be dependent on the complexity of the matter.

Other Related Services

The incidents and allegations of domestic violence quite often result in irretrievable breakdown of relationship and give rise to other related legal matters. Following are the various other matters which often arise as a result of non-molestation order court proceedings:

Book An Appointment With Our Divorce & Family Law Solicitors

Ms. Angelica Manu (Divorce & Family Law Solicitor)

Ms. Yogita Sharma (Divorce & Family Law Solicitor)

Mr Arshad Mahmood (Divorce & Family Law Solicitor)

Miss Julia Francis-Owusuasefa (Divorce & Family Law Caseworker)

FAQs - Challenging Non-Molestation Orders / Applications

Can I challenge a non-molestation order/application?

You can challenge a non-molestation order/application made against you if you believe that the non-molestation order or application against you is baseless and not corroborated by any evidence.

Can a non-molestation order be cancelled or removed?

The person who the non-molestation is against (Resondent) cannot have it cancelled or removed. Only the person in whose favour the order was made (Applicant) can ask the court to remove or cancel it by writing to the court and explaining what the situation was and what it is now,why you would like the non-molestation order to be removed and what the benefit would be if it was removed.

A respondent can make an application to discharge the non-molestation order, this is a way of trying to have it removed. The application is made under Section 49 (1) of the Family Law Act 1996 using application form FL403.

Section 49 of the Act provides as follows:

"49Variation and discharge of orders.

(1)An occupation order or non-molestation order may be varied or discharged by the court on an application by—

(a)the respondent, or

(b)the person on whose application the order was made.

(2)In the case of a non-molestation order made by virtue of section 42(2)(b), the order may be varied or discharged by the court even though no such application has been made."

What is the cost of challenging a non-molestation order?

There is no court fee to contest the non-molestation order. The over all fee charged by the solicitors for contesting non-molestation order is dependent on when the proceedings to challenge non-molestation order conclude.

You can schedule an appointment for detailed advice and consultation for challenging non-molestation order from just £80 (VAT included) during our office hours.

Our fixed fee non-molestation solicitors in London can act for various stages of contesting a non-molestation order or application on fixed fee basis. 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. Click Here to check our fixed fees for challenging a non-molestation order/application.

If you instruct us on hourly rate basis, our hourly rate for providing legal help and assistance with contesting non-molestation order ranges from £150 + VAT per hour to £250 + VAT per hour depending on the complexity of the matter.

How can I apply to change or set aside a non-molestation order?

You can apply to change or set aside a non-molestation order by filing application to the family court using application form FL403. Our specialist team of non-molestation solicitors can provide the required legal help and support for changing or setting aside a non-molestation order.

Can I make a cross application after receiving an ex parte non-molestation order?

Yes, you can make a cross application for non-molestation order after you have received the ex parte (without notice) non-molestation order against you. Such application should ideally be made before the first hearing date.

What is cross undertaking in a non-molestation order first hearing?

As a result of cross application by the Respondent against the petitioner, both parties may give undertaking not to harm or harrass each other by giving undertaking or promise to the court. Such undertaking or promise by each party is called cross undertaking.

Our Team Of Leading Divorce & Family Lawyers

As specialist divorce and family lawyers based in London and Manchester, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist divorce and family lawyers with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of divorce and family law matters. Our top rated divorce and family lawyers have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of divorce and family law matters including getting a divorce, divorce financial settlement, spousal maintenance, child arrangements orders, non-molestation and occupation orders, contesting non-molestation orders etc.

Following are the leading divorce and family lawyers and solicitors in our team of divorce and family lawyers:

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