Occupation Order : When out means out and not being allowed to return home despite COVID-19
When our family law solicitors say that ‘’it is business as usual’’, they mean it. Many people think that they will struggle to find a family law solicitor and to get the help they need in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. The media and domestic violence organisations have expressed concerns about those who are self-isolating or sticking to the lock down rules whilst in an abusive relationship. Amidst all the fear and worry we thought we would share a success story for a victim of domestic violence and to tell you that the courts are adapting and being flexible with telephone court hearings to help those caught up in abusive relationships and needing an injunction order.
Online family law solicitors
In these difficult times the children and family law team of specialist family law and domestic violence solicitors are here to help you. If you are in an abusive relationship and need advice or an injunction order or help with any other aspect of family law call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.
OTS Solicitors are based in London but provide a full digital online family law service including court applications and representation in telephone court hearings for an injunction order. Call us on 0203 959 9123 for a Skype, video conference or telephone appointment with a friendly and approachable family law solicitor to discuss your options.
Telephone court hearings for injunction orders
While it may seem that you are stuck with no way of leaving the family home and no way of being able to persuade your abusive partner to change their behaviour during the Covid 19 lockdown or to persuade them to leave, you may have the option of applying for an injunction order.
Lots of people are sceptical that a family law judge really will make a court order over the phone so we thought we would share the details of a domestic violence order secured by Angelique Holm, family law solicitor, to reassure you that the court is continuing to operate a service for those needing help to protect themselves from abusive partners and to leave abusive relationships.
Angelique Holm says that she has just had a very successful outcome from a court telephone hearing on behalf of a woman who needed to extend a non-molestation and occupation order to protect herself and the children. Instructions were taken on Wednesday and the client was ready to ‘go’ to court on Friday morning. Although the court hearing was conducted over the phone, the family court judge was able to hear arguments from Angelique Holm as well as counter arguments from the father’s family law solicitor. The hearing and arguments centred on whether the non-molestation order should continue in force and if the father should be ordered to remain away from the family home by a continuation of an occupation order.
Whilst it is easier to conduct a court hearing when you can see the family judge and the other family lawyer, it was possible to make all the points needed on behalf of the mother and for the judge to then very carefully assess what orders were right to achieve fairness.
The mother was desperate for help as she needed to keep the father out of the family home while it was the father’s case that because of the coronavirus outbreak and his status as a key worker he needed to come back to the family home as he posed a risk to his extended family by continuing to stay with them. In a measured judgement the family law judge had to address the balance of harm and the risks posed to the mother by the father returning to the family home because of the situation with Covid 19 and the potential high risk (because of his key worker status coming into contact with the public) that he posed to the family of the family member he was temporarily staying with.
In this particular situation, the judge assessed that the balance of risk lay on the mother’s side and extended the non-molestation order and occupation order to give her the protection she needs. Additionally the injunction and occupation order was extended for another 6 months (up to a year) for good measure.
Online family law services
The specialist family lawyers at OTS Solicitors have lots of experience of working remotely using the latest secure technology. If you need help with a domestic violence court application, child care arrangements or on any other aspect of family law call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. We will set up a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment for you with a friendly and experienced family law solicitor.