Domestic Violence: Understanding an Emergency Order of Protection

emergency order of protection, DuPage County family lawyerDespite decades of public awareness campaigns, physical violence and other forms of domestic violence continue to plague millions of families throughout the state and around the country. While the state of Illinois no longer recognizes any “at-fault” grounds for divorce, domestic violence still remains a major consideration within family law, as allegations and proven behavior can directly impact a parent’s suitability for parental responsibilities and time with his or her children. Proceedings for allocating parental responsibilities and parenting time, however, may play out over the course of weeks and months, so what can a victimized person do in the meantime? In some situations, an emergency order of protection may be the appropriate first step.

Filing for an Emergency Order of Protection

Sometimes known as a restraining order, an emergency order of protection is a court-issued directive that limits or restricts the behavior of an alleged abuser. An abuser who violates an order of protection is subject criminal prosecution for the violation, in addition to any other illegal actions he or she commits in the process.

If you believe you or your child is in imminent danger of continued abuse from a family or household member, particularly one who has abused you or others in the past, you can seek an emergency order of protection at the local county courthouse. Most Northern Illinois jurisdictions have some form of help available 24 hours a day, even if a judge is not available to issue the order.

Your Responsibilities

When you file for an emergency order of protection, you will be required to submit an affidavit—a document containing your testimony about the abusive situation. It is important to tell the truth regarding the case and your fears; deception and lies about the alleged abuser could be used against you later in the process. The alleged abuser does not have to appear before an emergency order can be issued, but he or she will be given the opportunity to appear before any further action is taken.

Contents of Emergency Order of Protection

Based on your testimony and its believability, the court may issue the requested order with terms intended to suit your particular situation. An order of protection can:

  • Limit the alleged abuser’s access to you, your children, your shared home, or your children;
  • Prohibit him or her from calling or texting you;
  • Prohibit him or her from removing any property from the home;
  • Grant you temporary physical custody of your children; and
  • Take any other measures deemed necessary for your protection.

An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 21 days, giving the court time to schedule a hearing for a more permanent order of protection. During that hearing, both you and the alleged abuser will have the opportunity to appear and present your respective cases.

Legal Questions?

If you would like to learn more about how domestic violence and orders of protection may affect your divorce or child-related legal matter, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We will help you keep your family safe while ensuring that your rights in the process are never compromised. Call [[phone]] to schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today.

 

Sources:

https://www.dupageco.org/CourtClerk/3363/

http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=SERVRESPage&SERVRESPage=order_prot

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=500000&SeqEnd=4200000

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