Press Releases

Press Release: Increases in the Use of Non-Molestation Orders since Scrapping of Legal Aid


Monday 15th October 2018 00:01

Analysis: Huge Increases in the Use of Non-Molestation Orders since Scrapping of Legal Aid (LASPO)

Thousands misuse abuse orders to get Legal Aid
37% increase in 5 years since LASPO


Chances of being hit with a Non-Molestation Order depends on where you live


Children are denied good parents by bad court orders


The system needs new checks and balances
 to avoid abuse of innocent parties and children


The will of Parliament on bail conditions is being bypassed


FNF call on Family Courts and police to complete investigations
within three months and to deal firmly with bogus claims of violence


Families Need Fathers (FNF) is a national, UK shared parenting charity concerned with the welfare of children in the context of family separation. Changes in legislation over the last six years, designed to save money or protect people who have been subject to abuse have also had unintended consequences – ‘collateral damage’ harming or destroying healthy child-parent relationships and fuelling parental conflict.

Families Need Fathers has completed a review of trends in Non-Molestation Orders (NMOs or Non-Mols) usage. NMOs are injunctive Civil orders designed to protect anyone who has been abused from further abuse. Over 26,000 such orders are now issued annually. Following a period of decline in their use, there was a significant, immediate jump in their numbers following changes legislation in 2013 that scrapped Legal Aid in private family proceedings unless domestic violence is claimed (as opposed to shown) to have been involved. A further spike in their use has occurred since 2017 when legislation changes to increase scrutiny on the police when they wish to extend police bail without charges led to this back door approach being exploited to get around the scrutiny.

Since these legislative changes came into force NMOs have increased by 7,249 cases a year, an increase of 37%.

FNF have analysed published Ministry of Justice data. We have combined this with data released using Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and evidence based on the experience of our service users in order to provide insights into how NMOs are being used or abused.

Jerry Karlin, Chair and Managing Trustee of Families Need Fathers, says:
“We have known for some time that people were exaggerating or making bogus allegations against former partners to secure Legal Aid in their private family disputes. We now know how widespread this is and we have seen how this appears to depend on where you live. False allegations used to steal Legal Aid and to use it to damage a child’s relationship with an ex is the height of blind selfishness – and devastates the lives of children and parents. We need checks and balances to expose and discourage the weaponisation of the courts by angry and vengeful parents who discover that lying in court, in order to get Legal Aid and to exclude and hurt the other parent, is a profitable business. Legislation and proper process must applied to safeguard the real victims.

Making bogus allegations of violence is fraud and must be dealt with.”



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