The housing and homelessness charity

Shelter Scotland / England

Taking legal action

This section looks at the different ways you can take legal action against your partner. Rather than leaving your home, you may choose to apply to the court to keep your partner away from your home instead. Domestic abuse is a crime, and you may also wish to report them to the police and seek compensation.

You can apply for more than one legal remedy at the same time (for example, you may wish to apply for an exclusion order to end your partner's rights to live in your home and an interdict to keep them away). Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • Getting a solicitor

    If you want to take legal action, you'll need a solicitor in family law. How to find a solicitor and how you can pay your legal costs.

  • Interdicts

    To stop your partner being near your home or behaving in an abusive way, you can take out an interdict (court order) against them.

  • Exclusion orders

    You may be able to apply for an exclusion order to keep your partner out of your home, however, this depends on your marital status and who owns or rents your home.

  • Non-harassment orders

    If your partner is abusing you, you may be able to take out a non-harassment order. It could mean five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine if they break it.

  • Criminal proceedings

    Domestic abuse is a crime. If your partner physically or sexually assaults you, you can report them to the police. If the police charge them, they may be tried and imprisoned or fined.

  • Compensation

    If you have been injured as a result of domestic abuse, you can apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for compensation.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

Fill out my online form.