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How Domestic Violence Affects Divorce and Custody in Illinois

Posted on in Domestic Violence

domestic violenceDomestic violence is a serious issue in our society. Often the issues that are behind violence in the home simmer for years. When a marriage breaks down there is always a lot of emotion and tension in the process. When there has been domestic violence, the situation is even more volatile. Domestic violence drastically impacts the divorce process.

What Does a Protective Order Do?

Illinois provides a way for victims of domestic violence to get a court order to keep their abuser from coming back into the home. This is commonly called a restraining order, but is legally called a protective order. There are three different types of orders. To qualify for a protective order the victim must have been harassed, injured, threatened, or unlawfully restrained by a family or household member.

Under the law a family or household member must be one of the following to the victim:

  • Related by blood;
  • Married, or formerly married;
  • Live together, or used to live together;
  • Have a child together; or
  • Are dating or used to be dating.

The victim of domestic violence can apply for a protective order at the courthouse. They must swear under oath that they meet the requirements. If the judge grants the order the abuser will not be allowed to contact or come near the victim.

Speak to an Illinois family law lawyer if you think you may qualify for a protective order.

Domestic Violence Allegations and Parenting Time

The courts recognize that domestic violence impacts everyone in the home, even if they didn't suffer any direct physical abuse. Most of the time protective orders will prevent the abuser from having contact with the children.

In some instances the court will allow for supervised parenting time, often at a neutral location. Courts take domestic violence allegations seriously. However, judge will have no tolerance for false claims of domestic abuse.

Because judges are required to make decisions about custody and parenting time that are in the best interest of the child, people with a history of domestic violence are usually found to be unfit parents.

Domestic Violence and Property Division

In a divorce proceeding the issues surrounding the children are only part of the equation. The judge must also decide how to equitably split the marital property. This means that the judge must consider all of the factors and divide the property in a way that is fair.

One of the factors judges will consider is domestic violence. But, it is not a sole factor in determining how to divide the property.

If you have questions about protective orders, divorce, or child custody, you need to meet with a dedicated and knowledgeable DuPage County family law lawyer. Call The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. today at 630-462-9500.



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