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Posted on in Divorce

How I-Pass Data Can Be Used During DivorceMany drivers have an E-ZPass – known as an I-Pass in Illinois – registered to their vehicle. The transponder is convenient for passing through tolls without having to stop and throw in coins in a toll booth. Most drivers do not think about how the transponder can track their movements based on the toll roads they use. The Illinois Tollway keeps that information private but can be forced to share information on individual vehicles when they receive subpoenas. Law enforcement officials are the ones who most often subpoena I-Pass records for evidence of criminal activity. You may be surprised to learn that I-Pass records are also used in some divorce and family law cases.


Let us say that you are paying spousal maintenance to your ex, who was unemployed at the time of the agreement. You have reason to believe that your former spouse has started a job, which would allow you to modify your maintenance payments. Your former spouse denies that they have a job to avoid any reduction in maintenance. As part of your evidence gathering, you could file a subpoena for your former spouse’s I-Pass records, which may show that they are passing through tolls at times that are consistent with going to and from a job. I-Pass records have also been used as evidence that a former spouse is cohabiting with a new romantic partner, which may allow the termination of spousal maintenance.

Privacy Concerns

Though you may not like the idea of the Illinois Tollway holding a digital record of your travel history, most people do not have anything important to hide if the record was released to a former spouse. However, WBEZ recently aired a story about how a man was able to circumvent an order of protection by filing a subpoena for his ex-girlfriend’s I-Pass records. The woman, who had a daughter with the man, received an order of protection to prevent the man from harassing her through frequent phone calls, letters to her home, and requests for police to conduct wellness checks on their daughter. The man filed a subpoena for the woman’s I-Pass records without her knowledge. The court approved the subpoena, which allowed the man to obtain:

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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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Firearms Restraining Order Can Accompany Order of ProtectionIllinois recently signed the Firearms Restraining Order Act into law, which allows someone to petition for the temporary removal of firearms from the possession of a family member who is deemed to be a threat to him or herself or others. With recent mass shootings in mind, lawmakers created the bill as a legal means for law enforcement to act on credible warnings of potential gun violence. Victims in domestic violence cases could petition for a firearms restraining order if they fear that their abuser may use a gun against them. However, the petitioner must prove that there is a need for the restraining order.

Order Details

Illinois already has a law that revokes a person’s Firearm Owner’s Identification card if he or she is convicted for domestic violence. However, an alleged offender may be a threat to use gun violence before a conviction can occur. An order of protection can immediately make it illegal for the domestic violence suspect to contact the alleged victim. A firearms restraining order addresses the specific threat of gun violence by:

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Keeping Your Phone Number and Other Protection Order RemediesWhen filing an order of protection in a domestic violence case, the petitioner may suddenly realize the various ways he or she is connected to the abuser. The victim must take steps to cut off access to properties and finances in order to shield him or herself from the abuser. However, both the accuser and accused may normally have an equal right to the shared properties. Illinois lawmakers included several remedies in the state's order of protection law that favor the petitioners’ rights to access and control various properties. A revision to the law went into effect at the start of the new year that extends those rights to cell phone accounts.

Phone Control

Under the revised law, a petitioner who has filed an order of protection may request that a wireless service provider move his or her phone number to a separate account. The law is meant as another way for domestic violence victims to be financially independent from their abusers. Domestic partners often share a wireless telephone service plan. If the abuser is the primary holder of the account, he or she has control over all phone numbers related to the account. With the new law, the petitioner

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

How Domestic Violence Affects Divorce SettlementsDomestic violence between spouses can lead to or result from divorce. A person may choose to end his or her marriage because his or her spouse is abusive. In other cases, asking for a divorce may trigger a spouse’s threatening behavior. Either way, domestic violence changes how a divorce is settled. The divorce court will likely favor the victim in matters of allocation of parental responsibilities and division of property.

Order of Protection

With any case of domestic violence, the victim’s first responsibility is to protect him or herself, as well as other victims. A victim spouse should immediately seek an order of protection against the abusive spouse. The order includes several benefits for the victim spouse, such as:

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