IL family lawyerOrders of protection, sometimes called restraining orders, are court orders designed to prevent an abusive or harassing individual from further harassing his or her victim. The directions contained in a protection order vary, but many prohibit the person named in the order, the respondent, from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the person who requested the order, called the petitioner. If you or your children are victims of domestic violence, an order of protection may give you the space you need to escape the abusive situation. An order of protection is also a critical step in creating a formal record of the respondent’s harmful actions with the court.

Emergency Orders of Protection Can Be Obtained Without a Hearing

There are three main types of protection orders available in Illinois: an emergency order of protection, interim order of protection, and plenary order of protection. An emergency order of protection (EOP) can be obtained without the respondent’s participation. This is called an 'ex parte' hearing.

To obtain an EOP, you will submit a petition for an emergency order of protection with your local county courthouse. In your petition, explain why you are seeking a protection order and describe the abusive or threatening actions the respondent has committed. An EOP lasts up to 21 days. The order can prohibit the abusive person from coming within a certain distance from or contacting you and/or your children.

The order may also require the person to surrender his or her firearms. The judge can set any other restrictions that he or she finds appropriate. When the court grants an EOP, it also sets a hearing date for a more permanent protection order called a plenary order of protection.

Interim Orders of Protection and Plenary Orders of Protection

A plenary order can last up to two years. You will need to attend a hearing in order to be granted a plenary order of protection. During the hearing, you will need to justify why you are requesting protection from the court. The respondent will have the chance to respond to the accusations leveled against him or her.

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IL family lawyerUnhealthy and abusive relationships can be easy to spot from the outside but can become difficult to recognize when you find yourself in that situation. They say that love is blinding and this is often the case in relationships like these. A man or woman in a relationship gets used to their partner’s behavior and often gives them excuses in regards to their abusive tendencies. Statistically speaking, one in four women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Physical abuse is not the only form of abuse that takes place in relationships. Emotional and sexual abuse are often more common. Continue reading to learn about what is considered abuse and why victims of abuse stay in unhealthy relationships.

What Is Abuse?

Abuse can come in many forms and does not always have to be an act of violence. Consistently putting down your partner or making them feel less about themselves is a common form of emotional abuse that often gets brushed off. Many incorrectly believe that violence or assault is the only true form of abuse because there is physical evidence to look at. Manipulation is another common abuse tactic. This can be explained as your partner wanting to spend time with you; however, an unhealthy amount of time spent with your significant other is never a good idea for either person. This manipulation can be as simple as dictating who their partner’s friends can be or as complicated as threating suicide if their partner leaves them. Financial control is also an example. This is more common in marriages since your bank accounts are typically merged; however, it is not impossible in a dating relationship as well. A partner who makes all financial decisions without consulting their spouse can use this to their advantage. Having financial gain over another is an easy control tactic that can be used without the partner even recognizing it.

Common Reasons People Stay in Abusive Relationships

It can be difficult to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship when they have never been in one themselves. There are a variety of different reasons why partners stay.

  • Love: This is one of the most simple and common reasons why abusive relationships continue - love. It can be difficult to leave someone you love no matter how much they hurt you. Remembering the “good times” from the past can be strong enough to motivate individuals to keep trying to get them back.
  • Lack of Finances: Financial abuse is so successful because not having the money to be independent can force people to remain in their current situation. Many people do not see another option since they do not have the means to do so.
  • Normalizing Abuse: This is similar to the lack of recognition of abuse. Many partners do not realize how serious the abuse has become. They think abuse simply comes with all relationships.
  • Low Self-Esteem: The way a person sees themselves determines many of the decisions they make in life. Emotional abuse typically deteriorates an individual’s self-esteem over time. Their partner will plant the idea that they will never find anyone else causing them to stay out of fear of loneliness and low self-esteem.

Contact a Kane County Domestic Violence Attorney for Help

Finally leaving an abusive relationship often requires more steps than telling your partner “it’s over.” For those who are married, divorce is one of the best ways to ensure that you cut all ties with your former spouse. Orders of protection may also be necessary depending on the dangers of the situation. If you are considering divorce or need help filing for an order of protection, contact our St. Charles, IL domestic violence lawyers for a free consultation at 630-584-5550.

 

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IL divorce lawyerWhen a couple realizes their marriage is coming to an end, many spouses decide to separate for a period of time before filing for divorce. This has become a social norm and many couples do not even think about getting their marriage annulled. Not only does an annulment mark the end of a marriage, but it also states that the legal union never existed. Annulments are most commonly sought out for religious reasons. For instance, the Catholic church views divorce in a negative light thus requiring its members to obtain an annulment before they are allowed to remarry in the “eyes of the church”. Annulments may be most common for spiritual individuals; however, some decide an annulment is best based on the benefits it provides each former spouse. Continue reading to learn about the details and benefits of annulments.

Eligibility for an Annulment

A couple must meet the following requirements to qualify for an annulment:

  • The marriage was forced on one or both of the spouses.
  • One or both of the spouses were unable to make a clear decision because of the consumption of alcohol, drug use, or mental disability.
  • One or both of the spouses were already married at the time of the wedding or the relationship was incestuous.
  • The spouse(s) was underage at the time of the marriage.
  • Either spouse was impotent at the time of the marriage.
  • Information was withheld from either spouse such as children from a previous marriage, an unwillingness to have children, legal/criminal problems.

Benefits of an Annulment

There are various benefits of an annulment that extend past religious acceptance.

  • Avoiding financial support: One of the typical requirements of a divorce is one spouse providing the other with financial support. This is often unavoidable, especially when one spouse works and the other does not. These payments can include child support, alimony, or spousal support. Those who decide to have their marriage annulled will no longer be required to help their former spouse financially since the marriage no longer exists in the eyes of the court.
  • Debt is determined and divided: Most couples will accumulate some form of debt throughout their marriage. In the case of an annulment, this debt is divided equally between both parties. Any debt that was incurred before the marriage is given back to the spouse that accumulated it.
  • Assets assignments: Property assets are typically split in half during divorce proceedings, but annulments are different. The property is given back to the party who originally purchased it.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney for Help

Whether a couple is filing for an annulment for religious reasons or for personal reasons, it is crucial that you seek out an attorney who is experienced in this particular area of family law. Divorce and annulments are two very different legal processes that should be dealt with as such. If you would like to get your marriage annulled, contact our St. Charles, Illinois family law attorneys at 630-584-5550 for assistance.

 

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IL family lawyerAdopting a child is an exciting time for parents. This excitement can lead to unrest from future parents since the adoption process can be quite lengthy. It is impossible to give an accurate timeline for adoptions since there are a variety of types and availability can change at any moment based on biological parents’ choices. Although the wait time can be unpredictable, there are various things that can and should be done before your child arrives at your home.

Learn About the Different Types of Adoption

While this may have already been completed, it is important to research every option available. This can help ensure that you make the best choice for your family and can sometimes shorten your wait time. Adoptions can be completed privately or with the help of an agency. Private adoptions are often done if the couple personally knows the birth parents. Agencies can be helpful for adoptive parents because they can provide you with a variety of resources to aid you with your adoption. Once you have decided whether the adoption will be completed privately or with professional help, you must determine if an international adoption or domestic adoption is best for you. International adoptions can often be quicker but can be more expensive depending on the situation and country. Researching each individual adoption outlet is important before making final decisions.

Be Prepared for the Home Inspection

Every adoption will be preceded by a home inspection. This is completed to ensure that the child will be safe and happy in your environment. The home inspection will require significant amounts of documentation. These include personal background checks, health statements, financial information, references, and autobiographical statements. These documents will help a social worker determine your own background in addition to your personal environment. When conducting the home inspection, the social worker will look for safety hazards such as accessible firearms, an unfenced pool, unscreened windows, etc. The social worker will provide the potential parents with advice about how to make their home safer for children.

Budget Your Adoption

It’s no secret that children are an expensive investment for parents. Adopted children incur more bills due to the adoption costs, especially if one has to travel to bring their child home. You and your spouse should create an adoption budget to ensure that your costs will be covered as the months go on. The budget should include adoption costs as well as parenting costs. This includes the furniture and materials that need to be purchased for the child in addition to food, clothing, and medical costs.

Contact a St. Charles Adoption Attorney for Assistance

In adoption cases, it is important to hire a professional to complete the legal portion. Adoptions are an exciting time for future parents. At Shaw Family Law, we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the preparation work. If you are considering adoption, contact our dedicated Kane County adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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IL family lawyerDivorce is difficult for all parties involved, especially children. Because of their lack of life experience, children usually do not understand why their parents are deciding to end their relationship. Some even blame themselves for the divorce. Some parents seek out counseling for their child to help them talk through a difficult time. Special needs children often need more help from their parents to understand what is going on in their life. Continue reading for tips on helping your special needs child through your divorce.

Telling Your Child About the Divorce

For many parents, breaking the news about their divorce to their child can be scarier than the divorce itself. It is important to be completely sure that you and your spouse are permanently separating. Being on and off again can be confusing for your child and give them unrealistic expectations for the future. Plan what you will say with your spouse and talk to your child together. Use concise language and reassure your child that your relationship with them will remain the same after the divorce.

Child Custody Determinations

Many parents do not have a say in the child custody proceedings; however, sometimes their input is taken into consideration for cases regarding special needs children. Custody for special needs children can be more difficult because constantly transitioning from one household to another is not always the best decision. These household transitions can become easier as they become habitual.

Transitioning After the Divorce

One of the best ways to help special needs children transition to living in two households is to have some uniformity between both homes. Many families will have a calendar in both homes to provide visual stability for the child. The calendar includes things like your work schedule, your former spouse’s work schedule, and your child’s extracurriculars. A good practice for parents is to set aside individual time with their child. By putting aside time for you and your child, they will be reassured that your love for them has not changed.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney for Help

The divorce process is stressful no matter the circumstances. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders to allow you to focus on your family and the lifestyle change you are going through. If you are considering divorce, contact our dedicated Kane County divorce attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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