Impact of Non-Molestation Order on a Father - Article by Practising Paralegal
Having a Non-Molestation Order against you can have a devastating impact on a person’s mental health.
The stigma attached alone, of being labelled an ‘abuser’, a ‘stalker’ etc, is damaging to a person’s mental health.
Since joining the Court Help Limited, I have been faced with many clients, that has a non-molestation order against them. In some cases, there is little to no evidence of domestic violence and in other cases, according to my clients, it is all a fabrication. It has been devastating to witness first-hand, the impact this has on clients.
I am often asked: Why has there been a non-molestation order made against me?
Whilst I explain that there are some genuine needs for a non-molestation order to be placed on a Father, it is unfortunate that sometimes, during an acrimonious separation, a Mother may accuse the Father of being abusive and apply for a non-molestation order – even if the Father did not do this, for her own agenda. For example, the ‘Mother falsely claims domestic abuse in order to access legal aid and stop estranged Father from seeing their children.’
Whilst legal aid is useful in genuine cases of abuse, it is a concern that this is being exploited and more concerning is that the level of evidence required is very low and can relate to claims about unwanted messages or emails (even if this is a desperate Father trying to see his child).
Client 1 - A Grieving Husband and Father
‘The stigma attached, the effect it is having on me, is too much to bear’
Client 2 - A Trapped Husband and Father
‘I was arrested last night, for harassment, as a result, I missed a day’s work, all because I happened to walk down my ex’s road’
Client 3 - A Desperate Husband and Father
‘All I did was message my ex-wife to see my son, and the next thing I know, I receive a non-molestation order – I don’t understand, why am I being punished for trying to be a dad?’
What to do when you have been served with a Non-Molestation Order?
Many Father’s feel aggrieved when a Non-Molestation Order court has been made against them (especially if it is based on what they perceive to be lies).
Many Father’s decide, to fight against the Non-Molestation Order simply because they do not want the Mother to ‘win’ or have their name ‘black-listed’ as an ‘abuser’. However, all too often, they decide to do so because they are innocent of the accusations.
Please see the below link from a previous blog, that is a useful guide detailing your options when you have been served with a non-Molestation Order:
Client 1 - A Grieving Husband and Father
In my first meeting , he broke down in tears and sobbed uncontrollably about the situation. He missed his wife, his children and did not how it had come to this. He expressed suicidal thoughts, as he felt he could not live with the shame of being titled an abuser and the thought of living without his beloved children.
His emotions struck a chord with me, this was a strong individual and a pillar of his community, brought down on his knees and uncontrollably crying. It took some time to calm him down, and I remained conscious of his emotional state throughout my time assisting him. More often than that, each conversation I had with him, he would break down in tears.
Client 2 - A Tapped Husband and Father
In my first meeting with him, he had not long come out of the police station, after being woken and arrested by the police in the early hours of the morning, for harassment of his ex-partner. Earlier that day, he had walked down the street his ex-wife lives on, with no malice intended, but regardless, his ex-wife saw it fit to have him arrested and cause him to lose a day of work.
Despite putting on a ‘happy go lucky’ persona, it quickly became obvious the frustration felt as if he could not step outside his own front door without a risk of being arrested. He began to question, what if they just happen to be in the same place, at the same time, by pure coincidence, would he be dragged to a cell again?
Client 3 - Desperate Husband and Father
In my first meeting with him, he had been served a non-molestation order due to his ongoing harassment. The harassing behaviour, as the Mother called it, was simply him wanting to discuss matters regarding the child they shared. Each and every message was him asking about the child’s welfare, his contact and his attempts to be a loving and caring father, despite the separation with the Mother.
What came to my attention, was how baffled he was, that a non-molestation order could be served on him, just for messaging about his child. Whilst he admits there were multiple messages sent, he did not understand why he was being punished for being an overly zealous Father. All he wanted was a relationship with his child, but with so many obstacles in his path, he was losing hope.
These experiences have demonstrated to me, the devastating impact such an order can have on a person and their mental health. I am left thinking, that I wish those applying for a non-molestation order have thought to the wider implications. As much as the Applicant may have cause to apply for such an order, I’d like to think, that they would not wish their ex-partner and father to their children, such a detriment to their mental health – but perhaps I remain overly optimistic in my view. That said, anyone, who is genuinely in fear and at risk of violence, do not hesitate to protect yourself with a non-molestation order.
This blog article should not be taken as Legal Advice.
If you need help with Family Law Matters / Children Act Matters, please feel free to contact us on our website at; Help@inCourt.co.uk or call us on; 07375757510