Can a Non-Molestation Order Stop Contact Between the Parent and Children?
Contents of this Article:
What is a No-Contact Order?
A No-Contact order usually prohibits defendants from having any form of in-person contact
with the applicants .
The order may involve instructing the defendant not to contact the applicant, and/or staying a minimum number of x feet away from the applicant, whether from them, their workplace, residency, or places they frequently visit.
Non-Molestation Orders Against Parents - What Do They Mean?
A Non-Molestation Order protects victims and any relevant child(ren) from harassment, intimidation, pestering, or physical violence.
There are many scenarios where a Non-Molestation Order is granted against a parent who does
not have the child(ren) living with them, (as per the data amassed from this firm to date, this parent is generally the father, but this is not always the case) .
This article shares the opinion of the author in this scenario.
However, we believe it is unjustifiable that based only on allegations not yet proven, that adult problems and situations should stop a parent from spending time with their children as long as he/she poses no risk to the child.
Can I Still Meet My Child if there is a Non-Molestation Order Against Me?
If there is no prohibitory order involving the parent that disallows them from meeting their children, the father/mother can make an application to the court to seek contact with the child, if the contact is being withheld.
The Non-Molestation Order specifies (or should specify) who all is covered in the order eg. the Applicant of the Non-Molestation Order and also the children, or just the Applicant themselves.
That said, the practicality of the situations is that if there is a Non-Molestation Order protecting the parent with whom the child(ren) live with, then contact can become rather difficult to arrange and coordinate as logistics can become incredibly difficult, until and unless the parents are able to make viable arrangements within the limitations imposed via the Non Molestation Order.
Can My Ex Still See The Kids while issued with a Non-Molestation Order?
Having a Non-Molestation Order does not automatically mean that your ex-spouse or ex-partner cannot see the child(ren). An Ex Partner can still see the child(ren), depending on the court orders and if the courts put any other restrictions in place.
The Family Law Act 1996 governs the Non-Molestation Order under Section 42, where the court takes a Non-Molestation Charge:
The applicant is associated with the respondent or.
Court considers the order to be made for the benefit of any other involved party or the relevant children
Head over here to find out who is eligible to apply for a Non-Molestation Order.
No-Contact Orders: Further Information
Family courts usually issue a No-Contact Child Arrangement Order when prohibiting a parent from having any form of direct contact with the children or any indirect contact via email, text messages, or telephone calls.
Such orders usually result from domestic violence cases or abusive parents, or to protect the best interests of the child(ren) involved. The abusive parent may be ordered to stay clear of the child’s vicinity as well with the parent’s residency place.
The Court’s paramount consideration is the best interests of the children. This paramountcy principle is also supported by the Child Act 1989 Section 1 Subsection 1.
The court considers the nature of abuse allegations or domestic violence and the safety and welfare of the child before conducting a fact-finding hearing to determine proof of abuse and violence. The courts also take the below into account before issuing a no-contact order:
Evidence of admission or abuse.
Parties’ conduct to each other and the abuse effects on the child and current living arrangements.
Impact of abuse on the child’s relationship with their parents.
Result of abuse and the potential of abuse continuing
Parent’s behavior during contact and how it affects the child
And other relevant reasons
Challenging a Non-Molestation Order
Non-Molestation orders can be challenged, and should be challenged IF the order is based on an
application that is making false allegations.
You will need to provide strong evidence to challenge your Non-Molestation Order if you decide to defend your case.
You usually have to question the plaintiff’s witness statements and other evidence such as the police, medical records, etc. Though many courts require the applicant to prove the case, you must also challenge the evidence included in the allegations and present your own opposing evidence.
Carefully consider your intended outcome, available evidence, and those you need to obtain and seek legal advice to guarantee a successful challenge.
While domestic violence or divorces are terrible situations that call for life-changing interventions, If it is completely safe for the child, and only if it is the child’s best interest then issues between parents should not deter one from spending time with their children - however only when the children are not at any risk.
It is sad that nowadays some vengeful partners misuse Non-Molestation Orders as a legal tactic against each other. Bringing about wrong accusations and allegations, Non-Molestation demands can and do become improperly used tools against innocent people. A Non-Molestation Order can have a very serious impact on the wellbeing of an innocent person and should not be granted Ex Parte at the speed at which they are being granted presently. If they are granted so fast then the return date hearing should be within 7 to 14 days of the order, and not months after as they currently are.
If a Non-Molestation Order does not prohibit the parent from meeting their children, it does NOT amount to a No-Contact order with the children, and the Defendant can make application to the court to get defined contact/live in arrangements with their children even if there is a Non-Molestation Order.
The Applicant Parent should however always be mindful that they do NOT break the terms and
conditions of the Non-Molestation Order, as this may lead to further litigation. It is generally safer to go through Courts for contact with the children or through your solicitors.