I have recently separated from my husband & he has obtained a non molestation order against me - a Court hearing has been arranged during June. Does anyone know what it all means for me? I live next door to my husband and the situation is very difficukt as we have two young children. Aparently I should have no contact with him but he seems to be able to do what he likes and keeps trying to make contact with me (I ignore him).
Sadly this is a tactic that solicitors use too often to try to antagonise the other party and make matters worse.
Unless you really have been harassing him then the best thing to do is behave until you get to court. Then in court deny the allegations if they are not true but show yourself to want to co-operate and offer the court undertakings.
Undertakings come with no powers of arrest and are pretty much well unenforceable. Your ex will need to drag you back to court and prove that you have breached any undertakings.
Try not to be pissed off and just accept that this happens everyday to good people. It is part of the nonsense that solicitors like to do on behalf of their clients to justify their fees.
Another tactic is to allege harassment to the police who will then show up at your door asking you to sign a form saying that they have had to make you aware of a complaint against you. It has little real effect on your legal standing but yes it can serve to wind you up.
Attention seekers who want to feel that they can mess with you even when you ignore them.
I am of a different view as I have seen other cases where a woman with children took undertakings as she was afraid to defend the false allegations made by the husband. This affected custody of her children and she is still fighting after more than 15 years as the husband keeps pulling out the Judgment and Undertakings signed to show wife''s bad behaviour. And yes very good lawyers were involved in this matter as the divorce involved high amounts of money. The husband is still seen as the victim and the wife lost on her custody and financial maintenance.
My opinion is that if one is able to prove the allegations of the other then don''t enter the undertakings and live with the dark cloud above your head. Deal with the matter at once and don''t give power to the other to prove that you agreed on taking the undertaking. If the courts refuse to let you present the evidence than this is an infringemnt of your human rights, Article 6 (fair trial). Solicitors will give you the advice to enter undertakings as this the most economical for the moment and easy to do as they draft the basic terms of undertakings with an expiry date of one year from the date of taking the undertakings. So, think long term!
Firstly, you live in NI where the law is similar to that of England & Wales but there can be local differences in how the law is applied so I recommend you seek advice from someone local.
Secondly, the problem with non molestation is that the general court rule that the unsuccessful party pays the successful party''s costs applies so even if you represent yourself you can end up with paying the other sides costs of £10k+. That means often it is in the interests of both parties to agree undertakings, avoid trial and the risk of a large bill.
An undertaking is a promise to the court not to intimidate, harass or pester. There can be a joint undertaking so the parties promise not to molest each other. It isn''t an admission that the allegations made against you are true. When there are serious incidents of violence a Non-molestation Order with power of arrest is more appropriate.
I agree with Fiona. Take an undertaking with you. But the allegations have to be proven. This means its evidence based. But he can call on witnesses to support any allegation. But the risk is as Fiona has said is that if you lose, you end up paying his costs. And he can get friends to support what he is saying without a problem.
I had to defend a non mol against me. I took advice from my sol and she prepared a undertaking with the points listed on the Petition. I just signed it and that was the end of it and I didnt have to pay costs. All the allegations were false. But that dont matter. If what he is accusing you of is false, then you just have to accept it and sign. Bad I know, but thats justice for you.
A lot of sols slip in an occupancy order in with the non mol. The real purpose of the action is the occy order. The non mol is just there to hide it. This is what happened in my case. I think my ex was concerned that I would re-occupy the FMH. Of course I wouldnt have. But I guess she didnt know that. It may also be something her sol suggested. Hard to accept but perhaps that was the reason. I have no idea.
Also, A non mol is time limited. Usually a couple of months to allow say a divorce to finalise. So its not like this is forever. C.