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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, How difficult is it to defend a non-molestation order?

Customer Question

Hi, How difficult is it to defend a non-molestation order? My wife has obtained ex-parte against me. She complained to the Police before applying for non-molestation. Police hasn't charged me as they couldn't find any evidence (obviously). Now, full hearing is scheduled in next few weeks. I believe she is producing letters from GP, Social Services and Hospital where she complained about Domestic Violence. She never had any injuries though at the end of the day, its her word against mine. There were few occasions, during heat of the argument, I slightly pushed her. I had confessed that to her during some of our discussions. I suspect, she may have recorded these conversations. Can she produce these audio clips as evidence. Though she completely lied in her statements, I am not sure how I can prove these lies and worried that non-molestation order will act against me in future. I am on a work-permit in the UK and afraid that my extension will be affected. Kindly help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this. Please RATE my answer OK SERVICE or above.

Is the reason you want to avoid this your visa status?

Are you still involved in a relationship with her?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We are not yet separated. I tried to work on our relationship but she walked away and filed for non-molestation orders. I am concerned about VISA status as well as reflection on my character. Non-molestation order seems to suggest that I have done something bad which I haven't.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I know they do and, for what its worth, I know that women do this sometimes to exercise control. Not in every case obviously but there are some. Its just as abusive to call the police and make allegations of abuse every time you cannot have what you want as it is to be violent.

The problem here though is that you accept an assault. A push is an assault. However much my own personal view is that its the type of thing that is so trivial that we should not be wasting public money upon it, its still an assault.

I'm afraid its very unlikely you could contest this on facts alone.

What you can do is attend and over undertakings though. If you have any evidence that she has been misbehaving then that would be very useful as well. This is a low level common assault and so undertakings might be appropriate.

I'm afraid though that complaints alone do sometimes justify some form of order so you would be best to offer undertakings instead of trying to contest the entire application.

Hope this helps.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 65309
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I had recorded some of our conversations where she had been shouting at me and trying to verbally abuse me. She reported this to police that I am deliberately provoking and recording her conversations. I feel trapped from all directions now. Judge has extended non-molestation period for 6 more months until final hearing. Since I will have to pay from my own pocket for solicitor fee (she gets legal aid), I am trying to balance emotions vs reality. Worse, we have a daughter and I haven't seen her for 3 months.


 


As I said earlier, I worried about my Visa extension too. Recent changes require good character reference and even agreeing to give undertaking may affect this. Please advise.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, unfortunately because we didn't take domestic violence seriously enough in the 1970s before most of us were ever born now we have to go way over the top in the other direction for a short time until common sense returns to us.

But the fact that you have or have not recorded her conversations is not an offence and if she is reporting that type of nonsense to the police then probably they would rather not hear from her.

The non molestation order doesn't really impact on you though. I realise you would rather not have it but if you have nothing to do with her then it will not adversely affect you.

You can apply for contact at the family court. She won't be able to use this order to control and manipulate your relationship with your child. She has a right to contact with both parents that the court will enforce if necessary.

Just make a contact application and get on with that. That will annoy her because she will lose control over the situation.

If she defaults on contact then YOU can take HER to court for breach and she can tell a judge why she shouldn't go to prison.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. That is a bit of relief. One last question. I have already reported to UKBA that our relationship is broken. I am not sure if they will curtail her dependent visa. In case they do, can I request court for customer of my daughter? She is 3-year old and I am confident that I can look after her very well. If non-molestation order is cancelled, will the judge give her permission to leave the country with my daughter?


 


Looks like I better stop defending the non-molestation order and get on with my life.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm not an immigration lawyer so that isn't really my line but I could probably ask somebody else to look at it.

In truth, its not likely you would get a residence order but she probably won't be allowed to leave the country with your child.

If you think she is going to do that then get a prohibited steps order.

But the first step is contact.

if you have a date set down for consideration of the non molestation order then you should probably attend and offer undertakings. There is no harm in that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much. I will see how it goes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

Just move on and find yourself a sensible partner who isn't always making allegations of abuse. We all have rows. We don't all get the police and the county court involved in them.

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Jo C.
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