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Wheaton family lawyer for Domestic Violence

Family members who have experienced domestic violence have options for addressing their safety, including requesting an order of protection. In recent blogs, we looked at when a person may be able to receive an order of protection and the types of protective orders that are available. It is also important to understand the specific protections that an order can put in place.

Remedies in an Order of Protection

There are a number of “remedies” that may be included in an order of protection. A judge will determine what measures are necessary to prevent any further acts of abuse and ensure that the petitioner and their family members are safe from harm. These remedies may include:

wheaton family lawyerThere are many situations where one or more family members may need to receive protection from domestic abuse. While domestic violence may be a factor in divorce or child custody proceedings, it can also affect former spouses, couples who used to be in a relationship or who share a child, or people who live in the same household. Those who have been the victims of abuse or who fear for the safety of themselves or their loved ones can request an order of protection

When Are Orders of Protection Appropriate?

A person may ask for an order of protection (which is commonly referred to as a restraining order) in cases where they or their family members have experienced domestic abuse committed by a family member or a person in their household. A person can file a petition for an order of protection for themselves or on behalf of a minor child or an adult with disabilities who is unable to file a petition on their own. These requests may be filed as part of an ongoing divorce or family law case or in a separate legal proceeding.

An order of protection may be needed to address multiple forms of abuse. These could include physical abuse in which a person has inflicted injuries on a member of their family or household, as well as harassment involving threats of violence, speech or actions meant to intimidate a person, causing disturbances at a person’s workplace or school, repeatedly phoning or contacting a person, or other actions that may cause emotional distress. Other abusive actions may include interfering with a family member’s personal liberty, such as by keeping a child confined in a room for an unreasonable amount of time, or willful deprivation of food, medical care, or other forms of assistance.

Kane County family law attorneyNobody ever thinks that they will become a victim of domestic violence until it happens to them. Unfortunately, domestic violence happens much more frequently than you may expect. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million people in the United States are victims of domestic violence each year. In 2019, there were 193,800 domestic violence calls made to the Chicago Police Department alone, along with 24,400 calls made to the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline, according to data from The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, an organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse. Many victims of domestic violence never seek help, but the ones who do have options available to keep themselves and their families safe. One widely used method is petitioning for an order of protection from the abuser.

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legal order used in domestic violence cases that requires an alleged abuser to do certain things or prohibits them from doing certain things. Orders of protection can be issued in response to a variety of actions on the part of a family or household member, including physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation. Orders of protection exist to provide protection and other solutions designed to help victims.

Potential Remedies in an Order of Protection

When an order of protection is filed, you can request certain remedies to be included in the order. Remedies can vary in subject matter, but some of the most common remedies used include:

How to Stop Harassment During Your DivorceGetting a divorce can cause uncomfortable interactions between you and your spouse. That behavior sometimes escalates to the point of harassment from your spouse. Fortunately, you can file for an order of protection against your spouse if they are continually harassing you. How do you know when your spouse’s behavior qualifies as harassment? You should explain your spouse’s behavior in detail to your divorce attorney, who can advise you on whether a court order could stop that behavior and what you need to do in order to receive that order.

Harassment in Divorce

Illinois defines harassment as conduct that knowingly and unnecessarily causes a reasonable person to feel distressed. Harassment in a divorce is usually verbal abuse made in person or via electronic communication. Common examples include:

  • Making offensive or obscene comments to you
  • Repeatedly contacting you by telephone or email for the purpose of disturbing you
  • Making derogatory comments about you in a public forum such as social media

Harassment is a misdemeanor offense in Illinois, but the offender’s actions can rise to the level of a felony. For instance, your spouse could be charged with stalking if they are following you in person or electronically in order to harass you. Making a threat against you that causes you to reasonably fear for your safety could be assault.

Keys to Understanding, Enforcing Your Order of ProtectionOrders of protection exist to shield victims from their domestic abusers and help them establish independence. Escaping an abuser is not always as simple as leaving them. The victim may be worried about:

  • Where they will live;
  • How they can protect their children;
  • How they can support themselves; and
  • How they can prevent their abuser from retaliating against them.

An order of protection can solve these problems. The abuser can be required to leave the victim’s residence and stay away while the order is active. The children will stay with the victim and may have limited visits with the abuser if the court determines it to be safe. The court can require the abuser to pay child support and other expenses. However, an order of protection is effective only if it is being enforced. You must understand what your order can do and how you should respond if you suspect your abuser is violating the order.

Terms of the Order

Orders of protection in Illinois offer 17 remedies to be used against the alleged abuser, who is also called the respondent. The remedies include all of the benefits mentioned above, as well as others that may apply in specific situations. You must select the remedies you wish to use in the order. Overlooking a remedy could leave you vulnerable in ways that you are not expecting.

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