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Three Things to Know About Orders of Protection in a Divorce in Illinois

Unfortunately, domestic abuse remains a serious problem. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), more than 65,000 incidents of partner-related violence were reported to state authorities in 2014 alone. However, the true extent of the problem is undoubtedly far greater — the overwhelming majority of domestic violence incidents are never reported at all.

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. Legal tools are available to protect spouses facing domestic violence. Among other things, a victim of domestic abuse can seek an order of protection to protect their safety during a divorce. Here, our Illinois order of protection attorneys provide an overview of three of the most important things that you need to know about getting an order of protection during a divorce.

1. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) is the Relevant Statute

A person’s statutory right to seek an order of protection is found under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA). Victims of domestic abuse and people who have a legitimate fear that they might face domestic violence have the right to seek an order of protection under this law. If granted, an order of protection can be used to stop an abuser from:

  • Entering your home;
  • Visiting your friends or family members;
  • Visiting your place of work; and/or
  • Contacting you in any manner.

2. An Order of Protection is Forward-Looking and Designed to Prevent Future Abusive Behavior

One of the most important things to know about an order or protection is the fact that it is designed to prevent additional abusive behavior. While any history of abuse will certainly make it far more likely that a long-term order or protection will be granted, the person seeking an order of protection does not necessarily need to prove that domestic abuse occurred. Instead, they must establish a reasonable fear of abusive behavior occurring in the future. Fundamentally, an order of protection is about stopping abuse.

3. There are Three Types of Orders of Protection

There are three different types of orders of protection. First, there is the Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). Generally, an EOP will be granted as long as the petitioner makes credible allegations. In fact, it can be granted without the alleged abuser even knowing that a hearing is taking place. However, an emergency protective order only lasts for 14 days to 21 days. After it expires, a full hearing will be scheduled. Next, there is the Interim Order of Protection. Essentially, this type of Order or Protection is granted when an EOP has expired, but a full hearing has not yet had time to occur. Finally, there is the Plenary Order of Protection. This is a long-term order of protection that can last for up to two years. It will only be granted after a full hearing, in which the alleged abuser has had an opportunity to respond to the allegations and to defend themselves.

Speak to Our Compassionate Illinois Divorce Lawyers Today

At Keller Legal Services, our Illinois divorce attorneys have the skills and experience to handle cases involving orders of protection. No matter your specific circumstances, we are prepared to help. To set up a free, strictly confidential initial consultation, please call us at 630-868-3093 (Wheaton, IL office), 630-859-2801 (Aurora, IL office), or at 630-505-1515 (Naperville, IL office).