Family Law in Ireland
Domestic violence includes physical, sexual or psychological violence or abuse that endangers the well-being or safety of family members. It is all too prevalent in our society and the courts have fashioned several remedies to deal with these matters depending on the circumstances of the parties and the severity of the domestic violence. It also covers people in other domestic relationships.
Although the terms ‘Barring Order' is used quite liberally, there are actually a number of types of protection offered under current laws as follows:
Interim Barring Order
This is a provisional or interim barring order that lasts until the full court hearing of the Barring Order proper. Under exceptional circumstances this order can be issued ex parte.
This was a new remedy introduced by the 1996 Act and is, in effect, a long term ‘Protection Order'. This order does not exclude a party from the home but prohibits a person from using or threatening violence towards the person applying for the order. Safety orders are available to the following: spouses; co-habitants for six out of the previous twelve months; the parent of an adult child; persons of full age residing in mainly non contractual relationships; and the Health Board on behalf of an adult or dependent person.
This is a temporary order and only lasts until the determination of the Safety or Barring Order. This type of order stops short of putting one party out of the house but it does require the Respondent to not to use violence or threaten to use violence against, molest or put in fear the Applicant or any dependent person.
This s the strongest of the Domestic Violence orders. This order compels a person against whom the order is made to leave and stay away from the residence of the person applying for the order and/or the dependent children. It also restrains the Respondent from reentering the residence until the court allows him/her. This order is certainly available to spouses however, due to constitutional restraints, it is only available against co-habitees who have an equal or lesser interest in the residence than the Applicant.
Remedies for Violation of the Orders:
Breaching a protective order made under domestic violence laws is a criminal offense. The Respondent may be arrested and the court may consider the Respondent's actions in any divorce situation.
Suffice to say, do not engage in domestic violence. However, if you have done so and there is a Domestic Violence order in place, do yourself a favour and fully comply with the order.
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