A person who believes that they are being bullied or who has been a victim of domestic violence or coercive controlling behaviour, can apply to court for a non-molestation order to prevent the other person coming within 100 m of them and an occupation order for the alleged perpetrator to move out of the house.
Here are the government webpages on exactly this subject. https://www.gov.uk/injunction-domestic-violence.
A range of people can apply to the court: spouses, cohabitants and ex-cohabitants, people living in the same household (but not employees), tenants, lodgers, boarders, and certain relatives such as parents grandparents, in-laws, brothers sisters, and engaged couples. So basically people who are in a close relationship either physically or family or living together whether that’s in a relationship or just the same house.
There doesn't actually have to be physical violence per se because there can be coercive behaviour for example as you will read in this excellent article: D
If living arrangements are involved, it is very often impractical to live in the same house and it would very often be allied to an occupation order which defines or regulates the rights of occupation of property by the parties involved.
Many landlords will not change the name of the tenancy agreement for example without a Occupation Order.
It always helps if a report was made to the police recently because that is good evidence that this actually happened. The reason is that to report something to the police which hasn’t happened is a serious offence of wasting police time and/or attempting to pervert the course of justice which potentially carries a short jail sentence. So the civil court will take more notice if it has been reported to the police.
Having said that, the civil court will normally err on the side of caution and grant the order. However if the order is applied for based upon fabricated facts and that comes out in the wash, that is also perverting the course of justice and contempt of court and also potentially carries a jail sentence.
It is one of the few areas of law which legal aid is still available in certain circumstances so it is certainly worthwhile contacting the solicitor in the first instance.
As there is usually some urgency with these kind of applications, it can be done on an emergency basis and there is the facility on the form to do that. An applicant can also attach a Certificate of Urgency (a letter with that heading) explaining why this should be in court on an emergency basis, usually within a day or so.
These applications are usually made “ex parte” which means that the other side doesn’t get notice. What I mean by that is that they are not told “if you do this again we will make an application to court”.
The first they know about it is when the applicant gets the order and they are given the order.
The effect of the order is exactly the same as a restraining order to restraining order is something applied for by the police/CPS through the magistrates court (or exceptionally the Crown Court) whereas a non-molestation order is through the family/civil court.
Section 1 of the Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act 2004 May the breach of a non-molestation order a criminal offence. It’s serious stuff.
So all that will stop him contacting you and then, you can get divorced and because there has been domestic violence, you should be eligible for legal aid:
Provided that at least one of the people wishing to get divorced lives in England, then getting divorced in England (& Wales) is infinitely a do-it-yourself job. (I am not familiar with the system in Scotland)
Save yourself a whole load of money: the government website have a do-it-yourself guide
Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order
And if have children under 18, and you cannot agree who they live with and who sees who and when, then you need a child arrangement order (which includes Specific Issue Orders:
To confirm that something can happen
and a Prohibited Steps Orders
To stop something happening
In the United Kingdom, we do not have “irreconcilable differences”. That is a thing in the United States for the time being at least. The rules are changing here shortly to get rid of the following 5 grounds of divorce and to get rid of the fault issue but that has yet to be enacted. To be honest, in my opinion, it’s going to make very little difference because the big arguments are over finance and children not the actual divorce itself.
It doesn’t matter who divorces who or why, the financial issues are exactly the same. The court has not apportioned blame with regard to the division of marital finances for many years.
Grounds for getting divorced are:
1 The couple have lived part 2 years or more but less than 5 years and they both consent to the divorce.
2 The couple have lived apart for 5 years or more, regardless of whether they both consent or not.
3 Desertion. Not common.
4 Adultery. Very difficult to prove unless there is unequivocal evidence or an admission.
5 Unreasonable behaviour. Most common and relatively easily to put together a petition on these grounds. For example:
A spouse wants an unreasonable amount of sex/never once it.
Lack of personal hygiene/obsessive personal hygiene.
Obsessively tidy/extremely messy and untidy.
Gambles to excess/it’s tightfisted with money.
Never interacts with spouse or children/obsessive with children.
Violent or bullying or intimidating.
Lots of grounds.
Please note that a legal separation is not the first step or precursor to a divorce. It is virtually the same process but it doesn't dissolve the marriage. However it draws a line under the relationship formally. The difference between a legal separation and divorce is basically that you cannot get remarried again. The reason you would have a legal separation, rather than a divorce is you can get divorced, for religious reasons for example.