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The Family Homes and Domestic Violence (Northern Ireland) Order 1998


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Further provisions relating to occupation and non-molestation orders

Leave of court required for applications by children under 16

21.—(1) A child under the age of 16 may not apply for an occupation order or a non-molestation order except with the leave of the court.

(2) The court may grant leave for the purposes of paragraph (1) only if it is satisfied that the child has sufficient understanding to make the proposed application for the occupation order or non-molestation order.

Evidence of agreement to marry

22.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the court shall not make an order under Article 11 or 20 by virtue of Article 3(3)(e) unless there is produced to it evidence in writing of the existence of the agreement to marry.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply if the court is satisfied that the agreement to marry was evidenced by—

(a)the gift of an engagement ring by one party to the agreement to the other in contemplation of their marriage, or

(b)a ceremony entered into by the parties in the presence of one or more other persons assembled for the purpose of witnessing the ceremony.

Ex parte orders

23.—(1) The court may, in any case where it considers that it is just and convenient to do so, make an occupation order or a non-molestation order even though the respondent has not been given such notice of the proceedings as would otherwise be required by rules of court.

(2) In determining whether to exercise its powers under paragraph (1), the court shall have regard to all the circumstances including—

(a)any risk of significant harm to the applicant or a relevant child, attributable to conduct of the respondent, if the order is not made immediately,

(b)whether it is likely that the applicant will be deterred or prevented from pursuing the application if an order is not made immediately, and

(c)whether there is reason to believe that the respondent is aware of the proceedings but is deliberately evading service and that the applicant or a relevant child will be seriously prejudiced by the delay involved—

(i)where the court is a court of summary jurisdiction, in effecting service of proceedings, or

(ii)in any other case, in effecting substituted service.

(3) If the court makes an order by virtue of paragraph (1), it shall afford the respondent an opportunity to make representations relating to the order as soon as just and convenient at a full hearing.

(4) If, at a full hearing, the court makes an occupation order (“the full order”), then for the purposes of calculating the maximum period for which the full order may be made to have effect, the relevant Article shall apply as if the period for which the full order will have effect began on the date on which the initial order first had effect.

(5) In this Article—

“full hearing” means a hearing of which notice has been given to all the parties in accordance with rules of court;

“initial order” means an occupation order made by virtue of paragraph (1); and

“relevant Article” means Article 11(10), 13(10), 14(10), 15(6) or 16(6).

Variation and discharge of orders

24.—(1) An occupation order or non-molestation order may be varied or discharged by the court on an application by—

(a)the respondent, or

(b)the person on whose application the order was made.

(2) In the case of a non-molestation order made by virtue of Article 20(2)(b), the order may be varied or discharged by the court even though no such application has been made.

(3) If a spouse’s matrimonial home rights are a charge on the estate of the other spouse or of trustees for the other spouse, an order under Article 11 against the other spouse may also be varied or discharged by the court on an application by any person deriving title under the other spouse or under the trustees and affected by the charge.

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