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wheaton divorce lawyer Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many families around the world. It can have long-lasting impacts on the emotional and physical well-being of those involved, especially the sufferer. In a divorce proceeding, allegations of domestic abuse are taken very seriously. Fortunately, in Illinois, there are steps sufferers of domestic abuse can take during divorce proceedings to protect the well-being of themselves and any children involved. If domestic violence is a factor in your divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney to understand your legal options at this time.

Here is What You Can Do

Illinois is a no-fault state when it comes to grounds for divorce, meaning that domestic violence cannot legally be considered a reason to end the marriage. In Illinois, the grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. However, not all hope is lost for the sufferer. Obtaining an order of protection is usually the first step someone can take when dealing with issues related to domestic violence. The order of protection can prevent the abuser from contacting you, and if children are involved, it will also prevent the abuser from contacting the children. If the abuser is living in the home with the accuser, an order of protection can implement proximity restrictions to ensure that the abuser is forced to leave the shared residence. An order of protection may also interrupt current custody or parenting time arrangements. If the order is violated, criminal charges may be levied against the abuser.

For the safety of the sufferer, Illinois courts can grant an emergency order of protection based entirely on the accusations from the sufferer. This order will stay in place for 21 days until a hearing can be held. For this order to become a plenary order, the sufferer and abuser must attend a hearing. At this hearing, both sides will be able to showcase evidence. A skilled family law attorney may be able to help by building a persuasive case to demonstrate that domestic abuse has or is occurring and that an order of protection is necessary to protect the well-being of the abused spouse and any children who may be involved.


Wheaton, IL order of protection lawyerSadly, domestic violence is something that takes place in so many families. Navigating emotionally turbulent situations like dealing with a divorce or issues related to your children can quickly bring out the worst in people and result in hazardous conditions. That being said, just because someone is going through a stressful time does not give them the right to commit acts of domestic violence. The safety of yourself and your children is the most critical thing; therefore, if you believe you are at risk of experiencing domestic violence or have experienced it, reach out to an attorney to set up an order of protection

Be advised that orders of protection are not one-size-fits-all. Different orders of protection pertain to certain situations. In this blog, we will look at emergency and plenary orders to understand how they differ from each other and whether a plenary order of protection is correct for you and your situation.

Emergency Orders of Protection vs. Plenary Orders of Protection

In Illinois, an emergency protection order requires only the petitioner’s testimony to the judge. The alleged abuser is not required to be notified or even present in court. Emergency orders are only available for up to 21 days or until a full hearing can be held. Meanwhile, a plenary order of protection is only granted after a court hearing that requires both the petitioner and respondent to be in court. Notably, a plenary order of protection can be issued for up to two years. Once the two years are up, plenary orders can be renewed.  


DuPage County Restraining Order LawyerDomestic violence is a poison that infects every area of a victim’s life. Victims often live in fear for many years before they feel prepared to take action, frequently due to a legitimate belief that domestic violence will escalate or worsen if the abuser discovers the victim is trying to leave. 

Sadly, divorce is usually a heated affair, and false accusations of domestic violence are easily leveled by spouses trying to get the upper hand in matters of child custody. This makes it essential to ensure accusations of domestic violence are backed up with proof. Collecting this proof, however, can be difficult and may require careful strategizing. To learn more about how to prove domestic violence in a divorce case, read on and then contact an Illinois divorce attorney for help. 

Ways of Proving Domestic Violence in a Divorce Case

The most convincing proof for showing someone is a violent abuser is a criminal conviction. If your spouse has ever been arrested and convicted for acts of domestic violence, especially in the recent past, this may be sufficient evidence that such abuse occurred. 


wheaton protection order lawyerVictims of domestic violence often do not leave abusive situations because they fear the abuse will worsen and they will have no way to protect themselves. This fear is not unfounded - research shows that leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. 

Illinois recognizes the seriousness of domestic violence and provides victims with the ability to apply for Emergency Orders of Protection. An abuser who violates an Emergency Order of Protection faces serious legal consequences. Consider hiring an attorney who can assist you in obtaining an order of protection as part of your overall plan to leave your abuser once and for all.

What is an Emergency Order of Protection?

An Emergency Order of Protection, or EOP, is a court order that prohibits an abuser from certain behaviors. Illinois judges have discretion to consider the unique circumstances of each case and may prohibit many behaviors, including: 


Wheaton, IL emergency order of protection lawyerStalking occurs when someone repeatedly follows, harasses, or threatens a person to an extent that the person fears for his or her safety. If you have been a victim of stalking, you know just how frightening the experience can be. Fortunately, there are laws that protect victims of stalking. In Illinois, what are often referred to as “restraining orders” are called “orders of protection.” There is also a specific court order designed to stop stalking behaviors called a “Stalking No Contact Order.” Read on to learn about the various court orders that can prevent a stalker from further harassing you.

Protecting Yourself from a Stalker With an Emergency Order of Protection

Two main types of court orders may be available to victims of stalking. The first is an Emergency Order of Protection. This is a court order used to protect victims of abusive family or household members. Abuse does not only include physical violence. It also includes harassment, interference with personal liberty, and intimidation. Per Illinois law, stalking behaviors typically count as abuse. Household and family members include current or former:

  • Spouses

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