Family Law

 Family Law

 We Can Facilitate Legal Advice With The Following:

Children Matters

Divorce Petition

Non -Molestation Orders/ Occupational Orders


1.Children Matters.

The Court can determine on a number of decisions about children including where they live, contact with parents / grandparents and who can make important decisions.​

 The Court will not interfere with arrangements made between parents, which are suitable and do not raise any welfare concerns. If, however, the parents are not able to agree on such matters, there are a number of different Orders that the Court can make, including:

  • Child Arrangements Order – to state where a child lives and when a child gets to spend time with their parents
  • Specific Issue Order – to determine a specific concern, for example which school a child should attend
  • Prohibited Steps Order – to prevent a certain action, for example whether a child can leave the jurisdiction to go on holiday
  • Parental Responsibility Order – to grant Parental Responsibility to a parent / guardian allowing them to make decisions about a child

The overriding concern for the Court is what is in the best interests of  children.

We take a caring and pragmatic approach when helping families through difficult situations. We understand that family law matters can be very sensitive, particularly when children are involved.

 If you need advice on any of the following, you should contact a solicitor

  • Care proceedings.
  • Adoption.
  • Child abduction.
  • Wills & probate

 Divorce Law

 We can assist people completing an online divorce application D8.

There is a £593 fee to apply for divorce. 

 You may be able to get help with fees if get benefits or on a low income. The Dracaena Centre can help with this online application (EX160).

 What You Need To Divorce

  • Yours and your husband or wife’s full name and address.
  • Your original marriage certificate or a certified copy ( and a certified translation if it’s not in English.
  • Proof of your name change if you have changed it since you got married – for example, your marriage certificate or a deed poll.

 Changes in Divorce Law

 The laws associated with divorce will be changing from April 2022 onwards.

 Couples can make a joint application for divorce, although one party still can. This makes it easier for couples to emphasise their intent to split amicably.

 No blame is assigned to either party for the divorce. The new laws removes the need to apportion blame for the breakdown of their marriage. 

 There is 20 weeks cooling off period between the application and conditional order, with another 6 weeks after that before the final order is issued. This means it a minimum of 6 months for the process to complete.

 Court Injunctions – Non-Molestation/ Occupational Orders

 We can facilitate legal advice via the Legal Advice Centre in London for the protection for victims of domestic violence – Non-molestation orders and occupational ​injunction orders.

 What is an Injunction?

 The word ‘injunction’ describes any court order that makes someone act or forbids someone from acting in a certain way. An emergency injunction is an informal description for a court order made without notice/ex-partner – it means the person you are applying against will not be aware of the injunction until it is served on him/her. The most common kinds of an emergency injunction that provide protection against domestic violence are explained below.

 Non-molestation Order

How it protects you.

Usually forbids an abuser from:

Using or threatening physical violence. Intimidating, ​harassing, or pestering you. Communicating with you (if appropriate).  It will also forbid an abuser to instruct or encourage others to do these acts.

In some circumstances, it can also include a clause preventing the abuser from coming within a certain distance of your home.

 When you can apply.

Applicant and Respondent are associated persons

This is determined by s.62(3) of the Family Law Act 1996 and covers most relationships, including:

  • Partners and former partners
  • Family relations (including in-laws)
  • People who live(d) together
  • People who have children together

 When deciding if to grant an order, the court will consider all your circumstances, primarily the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of you and any children. Evidence of abusive text messages/emails along with photos of any injuries or damage to property will strengthen your case.

It is possible to make an emergency ex -partner application for a non-molestation order if the incident has happened recently, as a guideline, within the past week unless there is a good reason for any delay.  If an order is granted without notice, then there is a further hearing approximately 14 days later, to give your abuser the opportunity to tell the Court whether they oppose the order.

A non-molestation order is usually granted for six to 12 months, although in certain circumstances, it could be granted for a longer period. An order can also be extended.

Occupational Order

How it protects you.

Regulates the family home, such as:

  • Suspending rights to occupy or visit
  • Evicting an abuser from the home
  • Preventing an abuser from returning
  • Specific metres protection around the home in certain circumstances 
  • Can be granted for 6-12 months
  • A power of arrest can be attached in certain circumstances 

 When you can apply.

  • Applicant and Respondent are associated persons under the Family Law Act 1996.
  • Respondent has somewhere else to live (this is not always strictly necessary)
  • Recent use or threat of physical violence

 When deciding if to grant an order, the court will consider all your circumstances, primarily the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of you and any children. Evidence of abusive text messages/emails along with photos of any injuries or damage to property will strengthen your case.

 What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse take many forms. They can affect anyone in any sort of relationship. Sometimes, people experiencing these problems don’t realise or recognise they’re happening, but they always have serious and lasting effects on those who suffer from them.

Violence and abuse can be:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional.



 First Light – Cornwall Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Support

Cornwall Womens Refuge Truro 01872 277814

West Cornwall Womens Aid Penzance 01736 367539

The Womens Centre, Bodmin 01208 764 66

Susie Project works with men and women who have experienced domestic abuse and have left their partner. 01209 699 241