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DuPage County emergency order of protection lawyerThere is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives. School children attend classes remotely, businesses are shut down or forced to operate via video conferencing, and many people are unable to visit relatives in hospitals and nursing homes. One way in which the coronavirus may also be impacting Americans is through an increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, many victims have stayed silent about the mistreatment they have suffered because they are ashamed, they fear retaliation, or they do not know the legal options that are available to them. If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, read on to learn about the legal protections available to you in Illinois.

Quarantine May Make it Harder for Victims to Get Help

Physical, emotional, mental, sexual, and financial abuse often takes place behind closed doors. Abusers frequently use control and manipulation to prevent their victims from leaving or reporting the abuse. When victims and abusers are quarantined in the same home together, the abuse and control may escalate. TIME Magazine reports that police departments are seeing increases in domestic violence cases across the country. In one hospital, wounds that were related to domestic violence from March 11 to May 3 of 2020 exceeded the number of domestic violence wounds from the same time period in the previous two years combined.

Getting Legal Protection Through an Order of Protection

If you or a loved one have suffered physical abuse, harassment, threats, or other forms of domestic violence, you should know that Illinois has laws in place to protect you. You can get an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) without your abuser’s knowledge. An EOP is available based on your testimony alone. The EOP may require the abuser to move out of your shared home, surrender his or her firearms, stay away from you and your children, stop contacting you, and more. If he or she violates the protection order, he or she may immediately be arrested and face criminal charges.

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DuPage County family law attorney order of protection

If you have been the victim of domestic violence or you have reason to believe that a family or household member may become physically violent toward you or your children, there are legal actions you can take to protect yourself and your kids. A protection order or “restraining order” is a court order that prohibits a person from contacting or coming within a certain distance of another person. If the subject of the protection order violates the order, he or she faces immediate arrest and possible criminal charges. Obtaining an emergency order of protection is often the first step in leaving an abusive spouse or escaping an abusive family member.

How Does an Emergency Order of Protection Work?

Protection orders are used to protect against abuse, stalking, or harassment from former or current spouses, partners, roommates, or family members. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) can be customized to your particular situation. Your EOP may prohibit the abusive person or “respondent” from:

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DuPage County order of protection attorneyAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an astounding 10 million men and women are victims of intimate partner abuse every year in the United States. Data shows that about 20 people per minute are abused by a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse in the U.S. Anyone who has been a victim of domestic violence knows just how terrifying and overwhelming the experience can be. Domestic violence or abuse can also have a tremendous impact on divorce proceedings. If you are considering divorce, and you have been mentally, emotionally, or physically abused by your spouse, there are several issues you need to be aware of.

Negotiation and Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Situations Involving Domestic Abuse

Generally, couples getting divorced are encouraged to work out issues related to child custody, property division, and spousal support on their own or with help from a qualified mediator. However, when there is an imbalance of power between the spouses or a history of domestic violence, this may not be appropriate or even possible. It is highly encouraged that you speak with an experienced family law attorney if you are getting divorced and have been abused by your partner. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and choose the course of action which is best for your unique situation. If you worry about the effect that your partner’s abuse has or will have on your children, your lawyer can also help you determine the steps you can take to protect your children’s safety, including requesting sole custody or requiring that your ex-spouse’s parenting time be supervised.

An Order of Protection May Help

Your safety and the safety of your children should be your top priority if you are planning to leave an abusive relationship. If you have reason to believe that your spouse will harm you in any way during the transition, you may want to consider getting an order of protection. There are three types of protection orders available in Illinois: an emergency order of protection (EOP), an interim order of protection, and a plenary order of protection. An EOP can be obtained at your local county courthouse and can remain in effect for 14 – 21 days. You will not need to notify your spouse if you get an EOP. This emergency order may require your abuser to stay a certain distance away from you and/or your children as well as your place of work, school, and your residence. A hearing will be held to determine whether a plenary order of protection should be issued to provide more permanent protection.

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Wheaton, IL order of protection lawyer

Divorce can be a difficult process, but if you are in an abusive relationship, it may be a necessary one. Unfortunately, abusive relationships often involve manipulation, and sometimes the person who is being abused does not realize they are a victim. Those who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship should be sure to recognize the signs of abuse and learn about their options for escaping an abusive situation.

What Defines an Abusive Relationship?

Not all abusive relationships are physically violent. These relationships typically involve one partner taking control or power over the other. This control can be expressed through physical violence, verbal abuse, and/or manipulative behavior. Mind games, threats, gaslighting, coercion, and intimidation are all common traits of manipulative behavior. Domestic violence can result in physical harm to a spouse or their children, but abuse can cause a great deal of emotional and psychological harm as well.

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Lombard family law attorney domestic violence order of protectionHere in the United States, an average of 20 people are physically abused by a spouse or intimate partner every minute. That means that every single year, an estimated 10 million Americans face some form of domestic abuse. The impact of domestic violence goes far beyond the initial injuries inflicted. Victims can face severe post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and even thoughts of self-harm. Fortunately, a dedicated legal team can help you remove yourself from an unhealthy and dangerous situation. 

What We Can Do 

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 25% of American women face some form of domestic violence from an intimate partner. In many cases, domestic abuse from a spouse or partner can escalate into severe or even fatal injuries. By working with a dedicated, compassionate legal team, you can ensure the safety of you and your family. Our attorneys can help with:

  • Establishing Orders of Protection: In cases of domestic abuse, your safety is our top priority. The first step we can take is obtaining an order of protection for you and your family. A restraining order can force your abuser to leave a shared residency and end any and all contact with you and your children. A temporary restraining order can be established simply through the account of the petitioner (the victim). Our team can provide you with representation in court hearings to ensure that permanent protections are put into place. 
  • A Speedy Divorce: When separating from an abusive spouse, a divorce can represent an opportunity to move forward. We understand the sensitive nature of these situations, and our team is prepared to expedite the divorce process. Here in the state of Illinois, there are over 100,000 reported cases of domestic violence each year. Separating from a violent spouse can be the best option for you and your family, and our firm is here to help. 
  • Ensuring Sole Custody: Roughly 1 in 15 American children are witnesses to domestic violence each year. Removing your children from a harmful situation can be critically important to their development. Children that witness domestic violence are more likely to struggle academically and face other emotional challenges. Securing sole custody can ensure that your children will no longer have to be a part of a violent situation. Our team is prepared to aggressively represent you and ensure that your children’s safety is protected. 

Contact a Wheaton Order of Protection Lawyer 

At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our legal team has extensive experience dealing with issues of domestic violence. We are dedicated to handling the difficulties of a violent relationship with the care that our clients deserve. Through expediting the divorce process, helping you gain custody of your children, or obtaining orders of protection, our team is here to help you and your family. To schedule a consultation with a DuPage County family law attorney, call our office today at 630-462-9500. 

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