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Hi there,

Looking for some advice.

My wife and I are estranged from her family/in-laws. After a huge falling out three years, she told her father (representing the whole family) not to ever come around to our house.

Three years later, today, he appears unannounced and uninvited to a new house we moved into a few months back. This has caused considerable distress to my wife and I am very angry as a result.

Her dad did not know where we lived at our new address, so have obtained our address by possibly illegal means. But that's a side issue.*

My main concern is what can we do to ensure he does not come to our house again?

Can a restraining order be issued at this stage? If not, should I call the police or employ a solicitor to send a warning letter of some description?

*Incidentally, is there anything I can do about that? It is quite stalker-ish to find our address without him being given it directly from us.

Any advice at all would be most appreciated as we are pretty upset by this invasion of our privacy.

Many thanks,


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I have to be brutally honest here - but you have had a huge falling out with your wife's family? Have you considered, rather than seeking immediate legal redress through the Police or courts, to actually sort your problems out like adults? Perhaps indulge in that long forgotten concept of working things out like grown-ups?

On the basis of the information you have provided, this would not appear to be a Police matter - and there is no basis for which a restraining order would be issued after just one unannounced visit, unless there is an history of violent and intimidatory behaviour. He is, after all, your wife's father. He's bound to to want to see his daughter, perhaps something you might better understand if you have children and ever find yourself in a similar position in later life.

Of course there may be much more to this than you have revealed - so the best advice I can give you would be to speak to a Solicitor in the first instance. Or the Police if he persists in visiting you unannounced or you are concerned about your safety. You may speak to them now of course and they may record it as a Domestic Incident so that at least it is on record in case there are any future problems.

But nothing, no problems for three whole years?

It is very easy nowadays to find out where someone lives - and not illegal. Certain websites, for example, provide information from the Electoral Roll.

But, alas, life it too short. It's a pity the starting point is not how you can resolve the issues that caused the rift in the first place but rather asking what big stick you can wave at your estranged in-laws.

Edited by morek54
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Good advice from Morek about talking things out but we don't know the full story so if things are really beyond that your best bet is solicitor first. At this stage with one contact in three years not really criminal. With a restraining order, or maybe a solicitor's letter including what it is that causes your wife distress from her family will put you in a much stronger position with police action should it continue.

The letter makes it clear to her father that he is causing distress and if he repeats that behaviour there is course of conduct and so an offence under Sec 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act.

The police may try to say that they have to issue a 'PIN' first but a PIN is not a legal requirement and the solicitors letter achieves the same thing.

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