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Should I Petition For An Order of Protection?

Posted on in Family Law

mchenry county domestic violence lawyerThe Illinois Domestic Violence law prohibits any person from hitting, choking, threatening, or interfering with the personal liberty of an individual within their family or household. Domestic violence is a very serious crime and it is often very difficult for victims to take action. With the help of a family law attorney, victims can petition for an order of protection that can cease any access that their abuser has to themselves or their loved ones.

Why Would Someone Want an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a very effective way to halt abuse committed by a relative, someone you share your residence with, a caregiver, a significant other, or a previous significant others (for example, an ex-boyfriend). The purpose of an order of protection is to protect a victim of domestic violence by prohibiting the following behaviors:

  • Physical abuse and intimidation

  • Entering the victim’s residence (this applies even if they share a home)

  • Being in close proximity to the victim’s school or work

Often, the order also places requirements on the accused for the order to be lifted. Some of these mandates include:

  • Abuser must attend counseling

  • Abuser must provide child support

  • Abuser must give the plaintiff temporary legal custody over any shared children

There are three order types, each of which applies to different situations. An emergency order of protection takes effect as soon as it is approved by a judge and lasts up to 21 days. A plenary order is granted after a hearing during which the person seeking protection explains his or her reasons for requesting a protective order. It can last up to two years. An interim order may last up to 30 days and is designed to provide protection between an emergency order of protection and a plenary order of protection. 

An order of protection’s reach is not limited to the abused individual. Protection orders can also protect other people living in your home, your children, disabled adults, and your pets. 

Obtaining an Order of Protection

There are several avenues you may take in order to obtain your order of protection. You may make your request at the time of divorce or in the event of court for an abuse case. However, you can also ask your attorney to file in a civil court.

Three main elements must be proven in order for a judge to grant your order. Firstly, the two parties must meet the Illinois definition of “family or household members.” Family members, spouses and ex-spouses, former or current romantic partners, roommates, or housemates, and individuals who share a child together all fall into this category. Secondly, the petitioning party must have suffered abuse by the accused. In Illinois, a wide range of behaviors fall under the category of abuse. Lastly, the court must have jurisdiction to hear the case. Once at your hearing, the courts will consider a range of factors that will determine your order of protection, including the severity and frequency of the abuse, the likelihood of future abuse, and the future danger to any minor children. 

Once your order of protection has been granted, it will now be in law enforcement’s hands to uphold this protection. Police will now have the authority to arrest your abuser if he or she violates the terms of the order.

Contact a Crystal Lake, IL Family Law Attorney

The type of abuse often associated with orders of protection is typically referred to as domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is not a light matter and is taken very seriously by the lawyers at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. If you feel unsafe in your home and wish to seek protection through an order of protection, contact our McHenry County family law attorneys for help. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838. 





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