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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.

Posted on in Divorce

domestic violence, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, Like physical stalking, cyberstalking is a form of domestic abuse. In fact, our increasing reliance upon electronic communication and our ubiquitous presence on social media make cyberstalking an even greater threat. You could be the victim of cyberstalking if a person uses electronic communication to follow, observe, threaten, monitor or contact you without your consent. “Electronic communication” includes – but is not limited to – transmissions via email, text message, instant message and voicemail.

Illinois law classifies three behaviors as cyberstalking. First, a person can be charged with cyberstalking if he uses electronic communication in a way that he knows – or should know – would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Fear for his safety or for the safety of a third person; or
  • Suffer other emotional distress.

Second, a person can be charged with cyberstalking if he knowingly uses electronic communication to:

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