St. Charles Orders of Protection Lawyers

Kane County Lawyers Providing Guidance in Orders of Protection Matters

Orders that place restrictions on people who have been accused of domestic violence are often referred to as "restraining orders," but they are known as "orders of protection" in Illinois. Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, a person who has experienced domestic violence or abuse may request an order of protection, which can prevent the alleged perpetrator from engaging in physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or any attempts to restrict a person's liberty. An order of protection may also include terms that will prevent the respondent from going near the home, workplace, or school of the petitioner, while also restricting their ability to communicate with the petitioner or other family members. Other terms may also address custody and parenting time for any children shared by the petitioner and the respondent. The petitioner may be granted exclusive possession of a home shared with the respondent, and they may also receive child support and/or spousal support. In some cases, the respondent may even be required to obtain psychological counseling.

The petitioner may request protections for themselves, their children, or any other family members or people who live in their household. An emergency order of protection may be granted immediately without providing notice to the respondent, or the respondent may be notified before an order of protection is issued. In most cases, a hearing must be held within 21 days after an emergency order of protection is issued. At a hearing held before a judge, an emergency order of protection may be extended, or a requested order may be put in place. If a judge determines that long-term protection is needed, a plenary order of protection can be issued that may last for up to two years.

Once it is put in place, an order of protection may be enforced by the police or other law enforcement officials. A violation of an order of protection can result in criminal charges, and the respondent could be sentenced to prison or face other penalties.

The purposes of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act are:

  1. To acknowledge that domestic violence is a serious criminal offense affecting both individual victims and society as a whole. Thousands of families throughout Illinois have been affected by this issue, which can not only lead to family disharmony but also can promote patterns of violence that may escalate to more serious violent crimes, up to and including murder. Domestic violence can create a negative atmosphere in a household that may affect children's ability to develop in a healthy manner;
  2. To acknowledge that domestic violence may also affect disabled adults in high-risk situations. They are especially at risk of harm because of physical or mental impairments that may affect their ability to obtain protection against violence. Abuse against disabled adults can take many forms, including physical or sexual violence, as well as neglect of their health and well-being or financial exploitation. Illinois law has implemented solutions to help these victims receive assistance and protection against violence as quickly and effectively as possible;
  3. To acknowledge that the legal system has failed to deal with domestic violence effectively in many situations. In some cases, abusers have been able to avoid criminal prosecution or financial consequences. While improvements have been made to the laws, the system often fails to ensure that victims have appropriate protections;
  4. To ensure that people who have been affected by domestic violence can prevent further abuse through the ability to obtain and enforce orders of protection that will prohibit acts of abuse, limit an abuser's ability to contact and communicate with their victim, and ensure that issues related to child custody, child support, and spousal support will be addressed correctly. This can help ensure that victims of domestic violence are not trapped in situations where they may suffer further harm, experience financial dependence, be subject to retaliation, or be unable to obtain adequate housing and other services;
  5. To detail what steps police officers and other law enforcement officials should take to assist victims and ensure that they are protected against domestic violence. The law also recognizes that police officers often experience serious injuries or are killed when responding to reports of domestic violence, making them secondary victims; and
  6. To expand the options available to domestic violence victims in both civil and criminal courts. The remedies available to victims may include requirements to ensure that they are physically separated from perpetrators of domestic violence in order to prevent any additional acts of abuse.

Many of our clients expressed fear and concern about their situation and with the legal process in general prior to speaking with us, but in many cases, they have found relief and confidence after meeting with us to learn the facts about their options and legal rights.

Questions that we are asked: If I seek an order of protection, will my spouse have to leave the house? I was served with an order of protection; can I get my clothes and car? Can I move back into my house? How do I see my children? Can I restrict the other parent from keeping the children away from me? How long does my order last? Can it be changed? What if I file for divorce; how does that affect things? Can we include other remedies in the order of protection, such as child support? Can this order protect my children too? Our attorneys are prepared to answer all of these questions and address any other issues that may affect the parties involved in these cases.

Contact Our St. Charles Domestic Violence Order of Protection Lawyers

Please contact Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to ask a question or set up a confidential free initial consultation regarding Illinois orders of protection. Whether you are seeking protection to ensure that you and your children will be safe from abuse or need to respond to accusations that you have committed domestic violence, we are here to help you address your legal issues and resolve concerns related to family law.

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