Grounds for granting a Barring Order

A Barring Order is an Order that requires a person to leave the home for a period of time stipulated by the Court (up to a maximum of three years) and prohibits the person from entering the home or watching or besetting the home.

The persons who can apply for a barring order are a spouse, civil partner, co-habitant that has an equal or greater interest in the property than the respondent and also parents where the Respondent is a non-dependent child.

The Domestic Violence Act, 2018 provided for an emergency barring order to be made which would be done on an ex parte basis and can last for a maximum of 8 working days when the matter would come back before the Court again at which point the Respondent can be heard.

In the absence of such an emergency application, an applicant can apply for an interim barring order which would remain in place until the full application is heard or can simply seek a barring order where both parties will give evidence. The reason why emergency or interim orders are obtained is that they can be obtained quicker, given the reality that Barring Orders are usually obtained in situations where the Applicant is alleging that they or the children have been the victim of violence in the home.

In an important 2017 decision of NK v SK the Court of Appeal clarified that (in addition to deciding that it is not possible for a Court to grant custody in relation to a child that has already reached the age of 18) that a Court cannot direct a spouse or partner to leave the family home for reasons other than those set out in the Domestic Violence Act i.e. potential or actual misconduct/violence. In the High Court the Judge had directed that the husband to leave the family home on welfare grounds. The Court of Appeal clarified that the Court had no inherent jurisdiction to make such an Order and that the Court’s jurisdiction was confined to the grounds set out in the Domestic Violence legislation.

For further information on the above or any other family law matter, please contact Brendan Dillon, Sally-Ann McCoy or Erika Coughlan on 01 296 0666.