Does Christmas affect relationships?

Posted 8th December 2015

Written by Emma Hartley

Christmas is seen as a season to be jolly and spend time with family, when many like to enjoy a drink or two and gorge themselves on food.

Newtons Solicitors - Xmas Image - Family Scene

The extra luxuries and gift giving can mean that many of us spend beyond our resources therefore starting the New Year with debt and large credit card bills.  This can place added pressure on families and relationships.

Unfortunately the more pressure that is placed on a relationship results in arguments and can also result in people drinking more alcohol over the season.  Escalating arguments and tempers can result in verbal and emotional abuse which can quickly accelerate to physical abuse.

No matter what type of abuse someone suffers, whether male or female, within their own homes, it is considered to be domestic abuse whether the couple are married or simply cohabiting.  Any type of abuse will also have detrimental effect on any children that are present or in the vicinity at the time.

If matters escalate to this point, the family courts can assist to provide the following:

Non-Molestation Order (also known as an Injunction)

A Non-Molestation Order will forbid your partner from:

(a)       Using or threatening violence against you and any children of the family.

(b)       Intimidating, harassing or pestering you and any children of the family.

Once your partner is in receipt of the Non-Molestation Order, they will be on notice that it is a criminal offence to breach it which will result in their immediate arrest and subject to consideration of the breach by a Court and conviction, they may be liable to a fine and or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Occupation Order

An Occupation Order is an application requiring your partner to vacate your property.  Such an application can be made in conjunction with a Non-Molestation Order or on its own.

If the Order is granted this will prevent your partner from occupying the property.  Additional conditions can be attached to the Order such as an exclusion zone around the property and an obligation to continue to discharge the mortgage or rent.

It is important that you do something about abuse, whether physical or mental it does not stop until action is taken.  There are organisations that can help such as IDAS and there are a variety of orders available from the Court as detailed above.  Legal Aid is available for Non-Molestation Orders so long as you meet the capital requirements.

If you wish to discuss these or any other family law issues, please contact Emma Hartley of Newtons Family Team on 0800 038 5500 or 01904 409078 who will be happy to assist.