Domestic violence does not discriminate. It can happen to men, women, and even children of socioeconomic status. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year. In many cases, an abusive relationship can lead to a divorce. However, in some cases, violent behavior by one spouse can continue throughout the divorce process and long after. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) provides safety provisions for survivors of domestic violence and their children by holding their abusers accountable in the criminal and civil courts. This can be done by court orders, but it is important to know how to obtain such protections and how long they are in effect.
What Can Protective Orders Do?
In Illinois, there are certain actions a victim can take against his or her alleged abuser. A protective order can restrict or limit certain actions a person can and cannot do. Often referred to as a “restraining order,” it can prohibit an individual from harassing or harming the victim as well as forbid any contact or coming within a certain distance of the alleged victim.
To obtain such an order, a person must file a petition for an order of protection. In the petition, the accuser must explain to the court why he or she wants an order of protection. If the court believes the person has been abused or is imminent danger of abuse, a judge will issue an order of protection. Below are the three types of Illinois protective orders and the amount of time for which they are in effect:
- An emergency order of protection lasts 14 to 21 days.
- An interim order of protection lasts up to 30 days.
- A plenary order of protection lasts for up to two years.
A plenary order of protection will remain in effect even if your divorce becomes final in the meantime.
If an alleged abuser violates an order of protection, the petitioner has a couple of options. One option is to call the police and file a report. If the police find evidence that the abuser committed a crime, criminal charges may be filed against the abuser. Another option is to go to court and request that a judge enforce the order. If you go the court route, it is recommended to seek professional legal counsel from a seasoned attorney who has experience with protective orders and divorces related to domestic violence.
Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney
Domestic abuse can lead to the end of many marriages. However, it can even take place after a couple gets divorced. That is why you should speak to a Geneva domestic violence lawyer right away. At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C., our compassionate attorneys will explain your right to obtain an order of protection. We believe everyone is entitled to feel safe and secure after their divorce. Call our office today at 630-200-4882 to schedule your free initial consultation.