I am thinking about divorce but am afraid of my spouse and their reaction. What measures can I put in place to safeguard me?

Barker Son & Isherwood LLP


Phone 01264 353411

Email info@bsandi.co.uk

Many clients who come to us for advice are nervous about broaching the subject of divorce with their partner. Even where the relationship is obviously over, the reality of ‘the end’ – the undoing of legal and practical ties and all that that involves – can hit people hard.

Where a partner has a history of violence or other abusive behaviour, the situation may be far more complex and will usually take some careful planning, with the appropriate support in place. As family law solicitors, we can recommend legal protections that could keep you safe.

A non-molestation order is one option. This can be used to prevent harassment, intimidation, violence and threats (among other things), and can be vital where there is real cause for concern about a person’s behaviour. An application would need to be supported by evidence showing a good reason for the order to be made and we help clients put this together.

Another type of injunction that could be applied for is an occupation order. This typically prevents the person from coming into the family home but variations can be designed to suit the situation.

It’s a criminal offence to breach a non-molestation order and contempt of court to breach an occupation order. Each could lead to a prison sentence and so the stakes are high for those who are subject to the restrictions. In many cases, the seriousness of the measure is enough to discourage the behaviour the order aims to prevent.

The availability of these protections should provide some reassurance to domestic abuse victims who are looking for a way out of their relationship. No one should feel trapped for fear that initiating a break-up or a divorce would provoke a particular reaction from their partner. However our advice would be to look very carefully into your options before making a move. Seek specialist advice and support, and line up the appropriate protections if need be.

For advice about anything raised here, please contact one of our specialist solicitors on info@bsandi.co.uk or 01264 353411.

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