Because litigating divorces is costly in terms of both time and money, Illinois courts can require couples seeking a divorce to attend mediation and work out their issues without help from a judge. For couples dealing with domestic violence, however, mediation may not be wise and might even be dangerous. If you are considering a divorce and have an abusive partner, it is important to understand how domestic violence can impact the divorce process in Illinois and to have a great divorce attorney who can help you leave the relationship safely.
Mediation and Collaborative Divorce May Not Be an Option
Dealing with a spouse who is physically violent, emotionally abusive, or manipulative makes negotiating in good faith practically impossible. If your spouse would use negotiations as an opportunity to intimidate you, lie about your finances, or gain the upper hand in matters of child custody, it may be best to stay away from alternative dispute resolution methods and allow your divorce to be resolved in court with help from a judge.
You May Need an Order of Protection
Orders of protection are fairly easy to get, especially if you need an emergency order of protection (EOP). If you time the initial hearing correctly, you can get up to three weeks of court-enforceable protection from your abusive spouse and get enough time to leave your home safely. Your attorney can help you extend your order of protection and ensure it covers you and your children if necessary.
You May Need to Ask For Full Custody
In Illinois, parental responsibilities (decision-making authority) and parenting time (visitation) must be allocated according to the best interests of the children. If your spouse presents a danger to your children and you can prove this, you may be justified in asking a court to keep your children away from your spouse. Courts may also allow for supervised visitation only or set other parameters around parenting time so your children will be safe. If your spouse has a long-standing history of serious abuse and shows no intention of improving, a judge may even terminate his or her parental rights.
Call a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer With Experience Handling Domestic Violence
The skilled Wheaton, IL divorce attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group understand that when a divorce involves issues of domestic violence, concerns about discretion and timeliness may be paramount. We will take all practical measures to ensure your safety while advocating passionately for you throughout the asset division and child custody process. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.