In Spring 2020 we were instructed by Donna. Donna was referred to us by National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV). When we met Donna, she was living with family members having fled the family home with her three children due to her ex-partners violence towards both her and the children.
Living with family was not a long-term solution to their housing needs and therefore Donna wanted to return to the family home.
The family team at National Legal Service supported Donna in applying for a non-molestation order and an occupation order. The non-molestation order was obtained for her protection, the District Judge ordered the application for the occupation order to be heard at the return hearing.
Due to Covid 19 the return hearing was listed as a paper hearing which meant draft orders needed to be agreed between Donna and her ex-partner.
Donna’s ex-partner agreed to the non-molestation order on a no admission basis as he disagreed with the allegations made by Donna. The solicitors acting for Donna’s ex-husband requested the occupation order include a clause allowing the father to attend the property to pick up the children for contact however, due to the violence Donna refused him contact with the children meaning he would need to pursue the matter through the court to obtain contact.
Despite this, final orders were agreed, and both orders were approved at the return hearing.
Donna and her children returned to their home with the help of her landlord. They live there as part of the occupation order, where her ex-husband is not allowed to occupy the home for 6 months or disrupt the Donna’s occupation of the home.