One of the hardest things for victims of domestic violence and emotional abuse to do is try to leave an abusive partner. In fact, many people are afraid that trying to leave may escalate an already dangerous situation, and research suggests this concern is well-founded. Fortunately, there are systems in place to help protect partners in abusive relationships and help them leave when they are ready. One such system is an order of protection, which is a legal order from a judge that can require an abusive partner to stay away from their victim. If you want to get an Illinois divorce and think an order of protection might help you, read on.
What is an Order of Protection and What Can it Do?
There are three kinds of orders of protection in Illinois: Emergency orders of protection, which last up to 21 days, plenary orders of protection, which last up to two years, and interim orders of protection, which are only issued when a hearing has been delayed for some reason.
Orders of protection are flexible and can be made to suit the particular needs of your situation. Depending on your concerns and the evidence you have to document your allegations, orders of protection can offer many safety measures, including but not limited to:
- Prohibiting contact between the abuser, the victim, and/or the victim’s children
- Prohibiting the abuser from making threats or intimidating actions
- Prohibiting the abuser from removing a child from the state
- Requiring an abuser to attend counseling
- Forbidding an abuser to use drugs or alcohol in the victim’s presence
- Ordering the abuser to return property, money, or personal belongings to the victim
- Requiring the abuser to surrender weapons to police
Orders of protection are legally enforceable, meaning that there are serious consequences if someone violates an order of protection. Punishments for violating an order even once can include up to a year in jail. Further violations can result in felony charges and mandatory jail time. If your partner violates their order of protection and you feel you are in danger, you can call the police and they will take immediate action.
How Can I Get an Order of Protection?
Persons wishing to get an order of protection must apply using the correct forms and provide clear details of the abuse. Although it may be difficult to remember and talk about the abuse, it is essential for a judge to understand exactly what your concerns are so he or she can issue an order of protection if appropriate. Emergency orders of protection do not require your abuser to appear before a judge and dispute your claims, but plenary orders do.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a Safe and Confidential Wheaton Divorce Lawyer
If you want to file for divorce but are worried about the safety of yourself or your children, schedule a free consultation with a Wheaton, IL divorce attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group. The attorney-client privilege means you can meet with one of our team members in complete confidentiality. We can also help you formulate an exit strategy, including an order of protection if necessary. You do not have to stay trapped in an abusive marriage forever. Call us now at 630-871-1002 to schedule your initial meeting.