In the case of Dolan V Corby , The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against an occupation order made under the Family Law Act 1996.
This case involved a couple that had lived together as joint tenants since 1980. In 2010 the respondent moved out of the property. The applicant then made an application to the county court for a non-molestation injunction and an order that she would be able to live at the property on her own at the exclusion of the respondent. At the final hearing Mr Recorder Bradshaw made a number of findings which concluded that the applicant had mental health issues and was therefore vulnerable and in need of immediate help.
The Recorder ordered that the applicant was entitled to live in the property and terminated the respondent’s rights of occupation. The respondent was also ordered not to enter or be within 100 yards of the property. The order was to last six months. The respondent appealed.
The appeal was dismissed. Although there were arguments as to how the Recorder applied the law to this case it was agreed this did not affect the conclusion the Recorder came to.
It was agreed that the Respondent was more capable of finding a new place to live as he was less vulnerable. The Recorder had been entitled to come to the conclusion he had.
If you are cohabiting and would like legal advice on your position in the event of a relationship breakdown please contact our Family Law Department on Eastbourne 01323 727321 or Hailsham 01323 841481.