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Family Law Act 1996

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Non-molestation ordersE+W

42 Non-molestation orders.E+W

(1)In this Part a “non-molestation order” means an order containing either or both of the following provisions—

(a)provision prohibiting a person ( “the respondent”) from molesting another person who is associated with the respondent;

(b)provision prohibiting the respondent from molesting a relevant child.

(2)The court may make a non-molestation order—

(a)if an application for the order has been made (whether in other family proceedings or without any other family proceedings being instituted) by a person who is associated with the respondent; or

(b)if in any family proceedings to which the respondent is a party the court considers that the order should be made for the benefit of any other party to the proceedings or any relevant child even though no such application has been made.

(3)In subsection (2) “family proceedings” includes proceedings in which the court has made an emergency protection order under section 44 of the M1Children Act 1989 which includes an exclusion requirement (as defined in section 44A(3) of that Act).

(4)Where an agreement to marry is terminated, no application under subsection (2)(a) may be made by virtue of section 62(3)(e) by reference to that agreement after the end of the period of three years beginning with the day on which it is terminated.

(5)In deciding whether to exercise its powers under this section and, if so, in what manner, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being—

(a)of the applicant or, in a case falling within subsection (2)(b), the person for whose benefit the order would be made; and

(b)of any relevant child.

(6)A non-molestation order may be expressed so as to refer to molestation in general, to particular acts of molestation, or to both.

(7)A non-molestation order may be made for a specified period or until further order.

(8)A non-molestation order which is made in other family proceedings ceases to have effect if those proceedings are withdrawn or dismissed.

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Marginal Citations

Valid from 01/07/2007

[F142AOffence of breaching non-molestation orderE+W

(1)A person who without reasonable excuse does anything that he is prohibited from doing by a non-molestation order is guilty of an offence.

(2)In the case of a non-molestation order made by virtue of section 45(1), a person can be guilty of an offence under this section only in respect of conduct engaged in at a time when he was aware of the existence of the order.

(3)Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section in respect of any conduct, that conduct is not punishable as a contempt of court.

(4)A person cannot be convicted of an offence under this section in respect of any conduct which has been punished as a contempt of court.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine, or both;

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both.

(6)A reference in any enactment to proceedings under this Part, or to an order under this Part, does not include a reference to proceedings for an offence under this section or to an order made in such proceedings.

  • Enactment” includes an enactment contained in subordinate legislation within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30).]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 42A inserted (1.7.2007) by Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (c. 28), ss. 1, 60 (with transitional provisions in Sch. 12 para. 1); S.I. 2007/1845, art. 2(a) (with art. 3)

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