When Should an Order of Protection be Filed During a Divorce?
When the process of a divorce is civil, there is no need for the court to order a partner or parent to stay away from the household. However, when there is domestic violence present in the relationship(s), the victim and/or parent of the victim can petition family court for an order of protection until the divorce process is concluded - or sometimes even further.
Understanding Orders of Protection
Domestic violence is a serious reason why some partners choose to split. However, if the abuser is unhappy about their partner choosing to leave, the abuse can sometimes escalate. If this happens, the victim is encouraged to file for an order of protection which will eliminate contact between victim and abuser during their divorce. This includes:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- Physical proximity to each other
- Physical proximity to the victim’s residence
- Physical proximity to the minor victim’s school or daycare
When there are children involved, the parent may file for an order of protection that includes them so that the abuser does not have contact with the minors during the process if it is believed the children may also be at risk. In Illinois, there are three types of orders which range in duration of non-contact:
- Emergency orders, which cover a duration of 14 to 21 days.
- Interim orders, which cover a duration of 30 days.
- Plenary orders, which cover a maximum of two years.
All orders are able to be extended when the coverage time comes to conclusion. This must be done through the court as well.
Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection
An abuser needs to be knowingly violating the order of protection for a punishment to be given. In this case, the offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If there are children involved during the violation, the charges are elevated to a Class 4 felony.
If an abuser willingly violates the order of protection, they are charged with being in contempt of court. Punishments include jail time, fines, attorney fees, and possible community service.
Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce and are afraid for your safety or the safety of your children, the lawyers of Shaw Family Law, P.C. can guide you through setting up an order of protection. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Kane County divorce attorney, call our office at 630-584-5550.