Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

non-molestation orders- any views?

(241 Posts)
thatsnotmynamereally Fri 14-Nov-14 13:22:38

I met a new solicitor yesterday reccomended through a friend as I wanted a fresh view on my impending (perhaps) divorce. The existing solicitor has drafted a divorce petition but it hasn't been served yet, for various reasons (mainly because I don't want to deal with having to move out and the inevitable nastiness that will ensue). When I met the new solicitor and told her about H's ongoing abusive and controlling nature she immediately suggested that I should get a non-molestation order in place ASAP and divorce issues could come after that. I'd been told the opposite by my other solicitor-- that we should test out his reaction to the divorce petition first and if needed other action could follow.

To be honest when she suggested this way forward I felt a surge of relief... as I see it the non-molestation order is a document that says spells it out for him in writing that he has to be a decent person. I can stay living in the house and he doesn't get a criminal record unless he brings it on himself. I know it's going to cost upwards of �2k but the other option (rather than inertia) is to rent a flat and move out which I've priced up at around �10k and there are cat/dog issues.

She said that there would be no real chance of getting an occupation order (property in joint names, no specific violence or recent threats) so I guess the non-mol would say that he had to stay out of my bedroom (to be decided I guess??) and not boss me around, yell, swear, make demands etc. He is emotionally abusive and controllling, not violent. I'm thinking it will be a warning shot before the divorce petition comes his way. I might also be naively thinking that him seeing it spelled out will give him some insight into the unacceptability of his behaviour.

I spoke to a local branch of WA legal advice before and they reccomended non-mol but I didn't take it further as theysaid they only would deal with legal aid cases. I think my existing solicitor's advice was due to not wanting to rack up more charges for me (fine) and him thinking that H would possibly be OK with divorce scenario.

TBH H says he would be fine with divorce scenario 'unless I try to nick half of HIS money' -- of course I am going to pursue with a vengeance my half of our assets, I'm not stupid and know what I'd be entitled to. So he'll be fighting me for money, definitely.

Any thoughts? Experiences?

something2say Fri 14-Nov-14 14:41:47

Non mole are great. So are DIY ones. That will save you two grand....?
Just make sure that you give plenty of good examples of current abuse.
If you get the order, then withdraw immediately from husband, assuming you live together. Stay away from him.
And then ring the police if he comes looking for trouble. A few calls to them where they come round and have a word with him will do wonders. They may also be able to charge him eg if the neighbours heard him shouting at you and that is one of the conditions on the order.
You will have to appear together in court tho. That's where your statement comes in handy, be very clear with the judge and try to avoid the husband making out its fifty fifty and the judge believing that and giving you both an undertaking instead. That means it's half on you and there is no power of arrest x good luck!

thatsnotmynamereally Fri 14-Nov-14 15:01:10

Thanks so much something2say, for the positive vibes! I really feel like it's the right thing to do... and it was nice to speak to a solicitor who immediately honed in on the issues, she seemed very proactive about doing this ASAP and I just want to be sure I'm not being carried along on her wave of enthusiasm. Any action I take is going to be earth-shattering as H is oblivious to my feelings, in his H-centric world he is the only one who has feelings/opinions/rights so whether it's a divorce petition or a non-mol order it's going to be a slap in the face with a wet fish for him. To put it mildly.

It's feeling urgent, I have booked a trip to visit my family in 3 weeks (a very long way away) and I've bought tickets for myself and DD... not him. My parents are getting older (Dad is 83) and I haven't seen them for 4 years. H wouldn't enjoy the trip anyway but I'm terrified to tell him and I bought the tickets without asking (my money, I work too) and that just isn't right, is it??? I should at least be able to discuss it with him? He will flip, not so much because I did it but because I did it without asking. But if I'd asked he would have made problems. I am so fed up with living like this!

thatsnotmynamereally Fri 21-Nov-14 16:22:37

Apologies for the bumping but I am really feeling in need of some advice-- the solicitors are really pushing for me to do this next Wednesday and I'm not sure it is necessary! Are they just trying to get 2k for a (fairly) easy day's work from their point of view? I spoke to NCDV who will do this for free... if there has been a recent threat of violence. And I cannot say that there has been, just the usual low-level demanding, coercion and control.

If I do this, next Wednesday-- I will still have to live in the house with him as we wouldn't apply for an occupation order.

There's another factor here-- I have booked a ticket to see my family (in another country, haven't been back for 12 years) and I haven't told him yet. I just cannot get the words out, I have paid for the ticket already and not involved him at all-- this visit is going to be all about seeing my ageing parents, and my sister who I haven't seen for 5 years. The reason we haven't been over is that H objects to spending so much money on tickets just to visit them-- he wants it made into a huge tour around with bells and whistles instead of a quiet family visit-- therefore the trip's never happened. And hence me not wanting to involve him in this effort.

Plane leaves in 2 weeks. YIKES! Non mol before? After? or do I just tell him I'm going, stand my ground and let him rant away without a non-mol?

Head is spinning with the stupidity of it all...

Twinklestein Fri 21-Nov-14 16:50:13

For free non mols from NCDV you have to have recent violence or threats of violence.

I don't think the solicitors are trying to get money out of you in this case, I think they are simply more experienced with abuse than your previous ones,

The suggestion that you should wait and see how badly he reacts before you get the non-mol is naive and potentially dangerous, depending in your circumstance.

If you look at thenamehaschanged's threads you will see she started with just such a plan but it went so wrong she had to change midway to another kickass solicitor who got the non-mol and occupation order sorted for her. (I understand you can't get the latter).

If your husband kicks off you may need police protection and breaching a non-mol is an arrestable offence.

I'm not really sure if you do really mistrust these solicitors or whether you are just having jitters about taking such a decisive step.

Your husband does not need to know about the visit to your family. You're divorcing (yes you are), and this is the beginning of not having to answer to him and letting him run your life.

thatsnotmynamereally Fri 21-Nov-14 17:12:59

twinklestein it is totally just jitters, wanting to do the right thing, wanting to get it all out in the open, then flip flopping and wanting to brush it all under the carpet.

Is he abusive? Do I need the 'protection' of an injunction? The solicitors are fine, really good I'm sure, but still it is their business to do this sort of thing.

I'm focusing on the fact that I don't feel I can tell H about my trip, FFS it is to visit my parents who won't be around forever. And I cannot even open this as a topic of conversation-- I am so pathetically indecisive and I'm not sure if it is because he is an abusive dickhead or because I am just pathetic in every way! Or perhaps a bit of both.

Twinklestein Fri 21-Nov-14 17:23:08

Yes he is abusive, I remember your previous threads, and you do need the protection, I just hope it's enough.

I doubt you're indecisive by nature, you've been dominated and abused by him for so long that you feel you can't sneeze without asking his permission.

He doesn't have to know about the trip, you will make your life so much easier by not telling him.

NoMoreDelays Fri 21-Nov-14 17:34:24

Is your daughter a child? If so you can't take her abroad without your husband's consent - assuming he is her father.

thatsnotmynamereally Fri 21-Nov-14 17:49:01

No, she's 19. I'm planning in leaving 21 yo DS at home to look after cat - he's working and I think he'd prefer to stay. DD hasn't spoken to H since he became aggressive towards her on one occasion back in July. She's at uni, the trip will be a real treat for her. H won't know she is coming .

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 20:50:23

If you planning to go on a trip then just keep calm and go.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 20:53:57

How long will you go away for ? Will your ds be safe in the hpuse when you go ?

From what you say if you let on you going away he will, kick off so better you sneak out and go. Then think from a far distance . Plan to come back to stay some place else. Are you hiding passport etc at work or either a friend? Your suitcases?

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 20:57:24

Or get on the plane and have solicitor serve divorce papers while you away.
Seeing as you leaving the country and don't want that jeopardised then get away and then have solicitor serve.
And arrange to stay with friend when u return

Karenthetoadslayer Fri 21-Nov-14 21:02:16

Well done flowers thatsnotmynamereally

What about having him served with the divorce petition and non molestation order plus a letter from your solicitor at the same time, asking him to move out, while you are already on your way to visit your family? Then he will have a cooling off period while you are away (mind you, some never calm down).

Get DD included in the non mol, if you can, if he has been aggressive to her.

What about DS? Will he be ok with your husband?

Karenthetoadslayer Fri 21-Nov-14 21:04:43

cestlavie smile I don't believe we were writing the same suggestion simultaneously.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 21:18:36

Ha ha great minds.

Op don't tell him u are going.
Hide your cases passport tickets at work and just go !

and have solicitor send him papers when you safely away.

But put something's in place for your ds in case h takes it out on him.

kaymondo Fri 21-Nov-14 21:20:31

Just wanted to add that I helped a friend obtain a non-molestation order which saved the legal fees. Judges are used to these kind of applications being made by litigants in person, you just need to fill the form in and then provide a supporting statement setting out in details his behaviour (including dates and how it made you feel). Do it yourself and you'll only have the small court fee (think it was around £80) to pay. £2k sounds a lot - my friend's solicitor was going to charge her £1k but actually advised her to save money and do it herself. We are midlands though, I guess legal costs will be higher if you're down south.

Karenthetoadslayer Fri 21-Nov-14 21:52:19

For your statement, include your diary that you emailed to yourself and also your most recent mumsnet threads / posts. This is contemporaneous evidence, for his abusive behaviour and how it made you feel. Also, your GP and WA reports, medical history, have you told your GP about your problems, have you met with WA, can they provide supporting letters, can you get a printout of your medical history?

I agree that you can do the groundwork yourself, but run it by your solicitor, before you go to court, if you go yourself.

thatsnotmynamereally Fri 21-Nov-14 22:57:03

Thanks so much all! Lots to think about now, kay I had no idea I could do it myself. I'm trying to put money concerns aside but 2k might be better spent on other things... and I keep wondering if I've over exaggerated about him. From the solicitors point of view, there is enough evidence and it cannot hurt to have the non- mol in place, but it might be easy work for them (and perhaps easy money for one day's work. they only charge 1.5k for a whole divorce?! and they seemed keen to discuss our assets. Financial settlement should be straightforward but he will fight of course, more hours work for them).

I know H is abusive, but he doesn't think he is, and I like the idea of it being spelled out in black and white what he shouldn't be doing. I'm going to look into the DIY option just out of interest. I've got the weekend to think about it as he's busy with a project. It's the timing of it-- non-mol without divorce petition might be confusing especially if I'm away for 2 weeks, as he won't know if marriage is on or off IYSWIM. The idea of getting it all served when I'm out of the country might be better, but I'd want to have DS with me. Then who'd be looking after DCat, I suppose he could go into a cat-home but he's old and a bit fragile. Oh no. I'm going in circles again!

Karen you've done so amazingly, you are an inspiration, you're meeting every challenge. You've come so far and I've got precisely nowhere in that time! MrToad is certainly showing his true colours and karma is definitely going to bite him, I just hope you get justice through the courts.

Once again, thanks for all of your comments, I think I get more clarity and insight from MN than from anywhere else. And I've got documented evidence of my thought process (even though it's often painful to read back through previous posts!). thanks to all.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 23:26:27

I think you are being naive to think that your h will read a letter or even an order and say oh yes you right I will stop doing xxxxx. I never realised....

He won't. Either he knows exactly what he is doing and will cleverly up the ante and do it more subtly .or he just will ignore. Or he will, truly believe that when he does xxxx or yyyyy he is right to do so. Or he may get agreessive and you will be in danger....

These people turn it round and twist it. He will say you mad and crazy and lying. Your word against his....he will make a counter claim that you abuse him. His friends who think he is marvellous will back him. You will be the crazy one... You have to be prepared for that. Unless your house ius huge and you can avoid him then staying in same house as him will be hell.

The only way to move on is to move. On. Move out, leave him. .
Put cat in a. Catttery. Warn ds and have him stay elsewhere.
Leave h and go away and serve him with divorce. Just do it.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 23:27:42

Also a non mol while not telling him marriage is over seems pointless.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 23:32:13

"He does not think he is abusive "
Well of course not.

And he won't listen to someone telling him he is either... The only way to get the message across that you don't want to be a part of such a relationship is to leave... Even then it takes strength to move forward and deal with the aftermath...he might beg cry scream. Be prepared for anything and stick to your resolve. Cut him off. Yours dc old enough you only have to have contact via solicitors to sort out division of finances.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Nov-14 23:55:28

Am speaking from experience of exp who years later is able to spin a good line to people about how I wronged him and he still has no idea why I left.... Such that professional involved with ds talked about him exp having a very plausible story which was opposite to mine and he could not decide who to believe.... Just be aware and do what is right for you to get away. These people don't change and will continue to grind u down if you let them . Order or no order.

thatsnotmynamereally Sat 22-Nov-14 05:53:32

cestlavie thanks, how frustrating to be told exH's story is plausible! I don't have any illusions about H suddenly seeing the light, just trying to put things in perspective.

I spoke to WA who also didn't think non-mol would solve anything, they too are saying that I should move out. I've been going in circles with moving out, as renting a flat will cost about 1,5k per month for a place not as nice as my house. We have a second home that H could move into ( I wouldn't want to due to its location but it could be a possibility) and I'm mindful of not wanting to waste money hence my original concerns about sol suggesting non mol! It may be 2k to them (inc vat) for a days work but for me it's closer to a months salary... For a document that's a 'nice to have' but not 'essential'.

From sol's point of view: I turn up in their office talking of (previous) police involvement and bullying coercive behaviour, name calling and harassment. They immediately think that a non mol order is a viable option. They don't have to think through the consequences-- ie me essentially poking the hornets nest with a stick then running away for 2 weeks. I won't enjoy my holiday thinking that he's sitting there brooding, especially with DS at home.

Better option might be for me to 'man up' today and tell H I've booked plane tickets, and see what happens. If he gets aggressive wrt the trip, I can continue with non mol (booked in for Wednesday) and that will give me legal protection and a firm idea of what to expect from H (unreasonable behaviour, clearly, as what man denies his wife a trip to see her elderly parents?) and I can plan for DS, cat, etc and not to intend to return to the house when we get back from the trip. Perhaps occupation order when we get back.

Karenthetoadslayer Sat 22-Nov-14 08:00:05

I am in a real rush thatsnotmyname and will catch up later but just this: WA always say to move out, from a safety point of view, because this is their first interest and rightfully so. Moving out will not of course affect your rights to the house, but with inevitable legal costs coming your way with divorce proceedings, this is the most expensive option. At the moment, for your H nothing has changed so you are just as 'safe' as you have always been, but of course only you can assess this.

Plan C sounds sensible under the circumstances, with DS in mind. If H gets aggressive about your reasonable request to see your elderly parents, he is bound to go spare when it dawns on him that you are planning to divorce and claim your rightful share of the assets. Would he agree to move out into your second home?

Agree, you can't serve all this paperwork on him with DS in the house.

What is DS's position?

Also, being away from H will be a breath of fresh air and you will be able to clear your head a little from all this day in day out shouting and brainwashing.

Your planning is very sensible.

thatsnotmynamereally Sat 22-Nov-14 08:33:34

Thanks so much Karen so good to get perceptive on things thanks

the truth is that I can keep going as we are and that's what makes it so difficult to act. I just don't rock the boat, so to speak, I hate having difficult conversations. But I think I will tell H today-- plan C as you say! In my own true style hate myself for this I will be nice as pie and butter it up, frame 'the trip' as a mercy mission to help my sister with parents. And see what reaction I get.

The reality is that my sisters booked a lovely place for us to stay and the holiday is intended to be a real treat-- although it wouldn't be H's idea of a nice place! And we intend to spend the week doing easy trips, watching Xmas shows/cooking Xmas food, and playing cards and board games. He'd want to be off doing high adventure trips and putting my parents' wishes last, not to mention their comfort and well being. Wow, now I've written that down I've almost convinced myself I'm doing him a favour not including him! Need to hold that thought for telling him. It will be nice to get away for a fresh perspective. Divorce has been on the cards for ages, he just won't believe me until he sees it in writing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now