An occupation order can enforce safe living arrangement for victims of domestic abuse.
If you have suffered domestic abuse you may feel unsafe living in the same house as your perpetrator. An occupation order can be used to provide you with a safe place to live by regulating who can live in your family home.
How can an occupation order be used?
Occupation orders are flexible and can be used in a variety of ways to offer victims protection. Some of the commonest ways in which occupation orders are used in domestic abuse cases include:
- To exclude someone from the family home.
- To enforce the right to remain in or return to the family home.
- To set out who pays for expenses relating to the family home.
- To exclude someone from a defined area around the family home.
Eligibility to apply for an occupation order
In order to be eligible to apply for an occupation order you must be ‘associated’ with the other person in one of the following ways:
- Married, in a civil partnership, or engaged.
- Previously married or in a civil partnership.
- Cohabiting in a family scenario.
- In an intimate physical relationship for a significant length of time.
- Have parental responsibility for the same child.
Occupation orders are only applicable in very serious cases as they can grant access to a property that a victim does not have a legal entitlement to and deny access to a perpetrator with legal entitlement.
The court will assess whether an occupation order is suitable for your individual case by applying two tests. The tests are called the balance of harm test and the core criteria test. These tests take into consideration the health, safety and well-being of the victim and any children involved and their related housing and resource needs.
If you require help, support, or legal advice relating to domestic abuseor occupation orders, please give our team of family law specialists here at Lund Bennett a call on 0161 927 3118.