By Juliet Phillips-James, Director, Gomer Williams (as featured in the Llanelli Star)
Q: It took me a lot of courage to make this decision as we have two children together and I was concerned about the effect this would have on them. The split was acrimonious and not helped by the fact that he refused to move out. Matters became unbearable, and one day he assaulted me, resulting in his arrest. He was on bail with the condition not to come to the house or approach me. However, I have just discovered the police are not pursuing the matter and he is no longer the subject of bail conditions. I am extremely fearful that he will return to live in the property. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
A: You can make an application to the court for an occupation order to exclude your husband from the property.
You can make the application 'without notice' to your husband if you're fearful of his imminent return or feel that any notice may incite a return to the property.
However, it is highly unlikely that the court will grant the order without hearing from your husband, as the order effectively excludes him from his home.
If you do secure an order at this stage, it will be on an interim basis and must be served upon your husband.
The second hearing will usually be listed a day or so after the first hearing, to allow your husband the opportunity of objecting to the order.
The court will take a wide range of factors into account when deciding whether to make an occupation order, such as both your housing needs and resources, the likely effect of making or not making an order on the safety and wellbeing of you and the children.
It sounds from what you describe that you have good grounds for making the application.
However, an occupation order is not an indefinite solution to a housing problem.
They usually are made for six months initially and can be renewed, but ultimately the housing arrangements will need to be concluded at some point.