Domestic violence can create a very difficult situation in a family home or in any domestic relationship. Domestic violence would include physical, sexual or psychological violence which threatens the safety or welfare of family members. It also covers people in other domestic relationships.
There are several form of protection available under current laws
This simply prohibits a person from using or threatening violence towards the person applying for the order and/or the dependent children.
This requires a person against whom the order is made, to leave and stay away from the place of residence of the person applying for the order and/or the dependent children.
This is a temporary safety order. A court may make this order when a person applies for a safety order and/or barring order. This only lasts until a the full court hearing of the safety/projection order.
Interim Barring Order
This is a temporary barring order and lasts until a the full court hearing of the safety/protection order.
How long can you be protected?
The District Court can make a safety order for a five year period and a barring order for three years. This can be reviewed.
Who can obtain protection?
- Spouses against each other
People who are not married but living together, may seek protection against each other.
However, there are restrictions based on how long a couple have lived together prior to the application being made.
Safety Order Lived together for six months during a 12 month period
Barring Order Lived together for six months during a nine month period
A barring order will not be made against a cohabite who owns the place of residence or who has greater ownership rights than the cohabite seeking protection.
They may seek protection against their children over the age of 18 years. However, a court will not grant a barring order against a child who owns the place of residence or who has greater ownership rights than the parent seeking protection.
- People sharing a home
The person against whom the protection is sought must be over the age of 18 years. However, the court will not grant protection if it considers that there is a contractual relationship between the people. A safety order is the only protection available here.
An adult, parent or a Health Board must apply to the court on their behalf.
What happens if an order is breached?
If someone breaches any order made under the domestic violence legislation, then it is a criminal offence and they can be arrested.
For legal advice in relation to Domestic Violence please contact us:
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