Home / Insights / Is it legal to place a restraining order on a relative?

Is it legal to place a restraining order on a relative?

In this Insight, we explore the law surrounding taking an injunction against a family member in the event of threat, harassment and violence – including the terminology used in this particular Family Court setting.

As with all our articles in our ‘Is it legal to...’ series, this provides an introduction to this particular topic area. However, if you wish to talk to a solicitor about your own personal situation, please do contact our Family Law team on 01603 620508 or by email.

For emergency, out of office hours advice, please telephone 07775947944. We also work with independent charity Leeway, who provide support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Is it legal to place a restraining order on a relative?

Yes. However, in Family Law it is referred to as a ‘Non-Molestation Order’.

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

A Non-Molestation Order can be served on an individual who has a close relationship with the applicant, defined as ‘an associated person’, including:

  • A spouse/partner, or ex-spouse/ex-partner.
  • A family member.
  • Someone who you live with, or used to live with.
  • The father or mother of your children.

How long do they last for?

Depending on the circumstances, they could last between six to 12 months. However, do not worry, at the end of the term it is possible to apply to the court to have this extended if your situation remains the same and you feel you are in danger.

What happens if they breach the order?

The Family Law Act 1996 s.42A states that if a person breaches the order without reasonable excuse, they are guilty of an offence.  If convicted, they may face a term of imprisonment, a fine, or both.

For more information on our Family Law team and the services they provide, please visit their services page via this link, or call us on 01603 620508.

This article was produced on the 4th October 2023 by our Family & Children team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.