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IL divorce lawyerDomestic violence is surprisingly common both in the state of Illinois as well as around the country. Sadly, many victims of abuse stay silent because they do not realize that there are programs that can help them leave an abusive relationship. In Illinois, victims of abuse and stalking have the ability to get a legal court order called an “order of protection.” Protection orders, also called restraining orders in some states, may prohibit the subject of the order from contacting certain protected individuals or going to certain locations. If you have suffered from domestic violence or you are worried that a family or household member may attempt to harm you or your children, you may want to consider obtaining an order of protection.

Emergency Orders of Protection

A protection order can be customized based on your unique needs. It may protect you, your children, anyone who lives or works in your house, adults with disabilities, and your pets. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) can include many different types of provisions. The EOP may prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim(s) of the protection order including calling, emailing, or texting them. It may also require the abuser to stay a certain distance away from the victim(s) and their home, school, or workplace. Depending on your situation, the protection order may also result in the revocation of the abuser’s Firearm Owner Identification Card which takes away his or her legal right to possess a gun. An EOP can be obtained without the abusive person’s presence and lasts up to 21 days.

Interim Orders of Protection and Plenary Orders of Protection

When someone obtains an Emergency Order of Protection, they will typically schedule a court date for a Plenary Order of Protection hearing. During the Plenary hearing, a judge will listen to your reasons for requesting the protection order and examine evidence that supports your side of the story. Your abuser will also be notified of the hearing and given an opportunity to tell his or her side of the story. If the judge grants the Plenary Order of Protection, it can last up to two years. If you need protection between the termination of the EOP and the start of the Plenary Order of Protection, you may be able to receive an Interim Order of Protection. If an abusive person violates any of the terms of a protection order, he or she is subject to immediate arrest and a variety of criminal consequences.

Contact a Kane County Protection Order Lawyer

Leaving an abusive spouse or escaping other forms of abuse can be a very daunting endeavor. Fortunately, you do not have to face the process alone. Shaw Family Law, P.C. can help you with obtaining a protection order, represent you during the Plenary hearing, and ensure that your rights are not violated. Call our office at 630-584-5550 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced St. Charles family law attorney from our firm.

 

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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 lawyerDomestic violence always has negative effects on a victim. Many of these effects, like lowered self-esteem, bruises, broken bones, and anxiety, are immediate and appear concurrently with the abuse. Others do not become apparent for months or years after the abuse begins. In some cases, an individual experiences long-term effects of domestic violence even after leaving the abusive relationship.

If you face domestic violence, discuss it with your doctor so he or she can have more context with which to diagnose your physical health conditions. Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health specialist to help you work through the lasting psychological effects of facing domestic violence. Below are a few of the long-term issues domestic violence victims face:

Increased Severity of Chronic Conditions

Domestic violence is stressful, and stress exacerbates all other health conditions. When an individual faces domestic violence, his or her risk of suffering from chronic pain, asthma, heart disease, and arthritis increases.

Additionally, physical injuries sustained through domestic violence can increase your risk of suffering from new conditions later in life. One example of this is the correlation between traumatic brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_domestic-violence_20170816-022611_1.jpgBefore you can divorce your abusive spouse, you might need to get yourself out of your home and into a healthy mental and physical state. You can do this by making use of the resources available to you provided by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Use its website or call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline to find a safe way to leave your home and reach your nearest victims’ shelter. Ending an abusive marriage can take time, money, and your mental and physical energy, but it is always worth it.

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) is a nonprofit organization that provides resources to domestic violence victims throughout Illinois. These resources include grants for organizations seeking to provide resources to domestic violence victims, safety planning for victims, education and outreach for victims, and training for licensed counselors and social workers who work with domestic violence victims.

Orders of Protection

If you feel you are in danger of suffering more abuse by your former partner, use an order of protection to keep him or her from contacting or coming near you. To do this, file a Petition for an Order of Protection with your local circuit court. There are three types of order of protection available to Illinois residents:

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyerDomestic violence is one of the most common issues in divorces, especially when dealing with parenting time questions. Because it is so commonly discussed and dealt with, however, many persistent myths have appeared on the topic. If you do not have the right information when you need it, you run the risk of missing opportunities or information that could help you out of a difficult situation.

MYTH: Domestic violence laws in Illinois only apply to mistreatment between spouses. Fact: The Illinois Domestic Violence Act explicitly states that the laws do not only apply to abuse between spouses. 750 ILCS 60/103(6) prohibits any abuse being visited on “family” or “household members,” which casts the net much wider. Past jurisprudence has included ex-spouses, roommates, co-parents of a child who lives in the home (not necessarily married), and disabled people and their caregivers under this umbrella. Essentially, as long as one or both parties to the abuse can demonstrate a relationship to the home, the law will apply.

MYTH: Abuse, for the purposes of charging someone with domestic violence, must be of a physical nature. Fact: As long as it can be shown that one person seeks to harass or control another person and has caused tangible harm in doing so, abuse can be alleged. Physical abuse need not leave bruises - if it causes harm or the imminent threat of harm, it is abuse under the law. Abuse in this context may also be emotional or even financial - essentially any act that seeks power over another person may be held to be abusive if evidence of intent and harm are presented.

MYTH: If you are an abuse victim, there is no one who must help you besides the police. Fact: In each state, there are many people who have, in their professional capacity, a mandatory obligation to report any suspicion of domestic abuse. In Illinois, the mandatory reporting requirement falls on medical care practitioners - any person authorized by Illinois law to “offer health care in the ordinary course of business” must furnish a suspected victim with resources on where to turn. They are also immunized against most (if not all) Good Samaritan actions.

MYTH: If you do not leave your abusive spouse immediately, it will be held against you when you later contest parenting time and support issues. Fact: It is becoming more commonly known that leaving an abusive spouse is not always possible, especially if one has children. To leave an abusive partner, one requires money and time, and given the controlling nature of most abusers, this may be very difficult to obtain. Good faith is generally ascribed to victims of domestic abuse unless it becomes readily apparent that this is misguided.

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