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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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DuPage County high conflict divorce attorneyDivorce can bring out the worst in people. If you are contemplating divorce or have already decided to end your marriage, you may have concerns about your ex making false accusations against you. Some people make up lies about their spouse during divorce out of bitterness and spite. Even if the accusations are not founded in reality, they have the potential to cause significant problems for the accused spouse. If your spouse has accused you of abuse, violence, hiding assets, or other forms of wrongdoing, it is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Keep a Detailed Record of Your Actions and the Accusations

One of the best ways to help your lawyer prove that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is lying about your alleged abuse or other misconduct is to gather evidence. Keep records of any text messages, voicemails, or emails that your spouse sends you. Make sure to also log or write down your own actions. You may be able to use this information to prove that your spouse’s claims are untrue. For example, if your spouse accuses you of harming him or her on a certain date, you may be able to produce evidence that shows that you were out of town on this particular date. Demonstrating inconsistencies in your spouse’s claims will weaken his or her credibility and help you defend yourself against the false accusations.

Do Not Confront Your Spouse, and Comply With Any Protection Orders

One of the worst things you can do when you are being accused of abuse or harassment is to confront your accuser. Your spouse may use this confrontation as an excuse to make claims of further harassment, intimidation, or abuse, or they may attempt to bait you into a heated argument and claim that this shows that you are violent or unstable. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyer for stalking and harassmentDivorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. In some cases, a resentful spouse may resort to stalking or harassing their spouse in an attempt to get their attention or intimidate them into meeting divorce-related demands. Stalking can include repeatedly showing up at the spouse’s home, school, or workplace, or it may involve repeatedly contacting the spouse over the phone or via text messages, email, or social media. Whether you have been a victim of abuse, stalking, or another form of domestic violence, you should know that you have several options under Illinois law that can help keep you and your loved ones safe.  

What Constitutes Stalking?

Stalking is typically defined as knowingly and repeatedly harassing another person with the intent to cause him or her harm or fear of being harmed. This may include following the victim from place to place, remaining outside the victim’s home for long periods of time, or showing up at places that the victim is likely to be with the intent of scaring him or her. Stalking may also include contacting or monitoring someone through a smartphone, computer, GPS system, or another electronic device. This so-called “cyberstalking” can be just as emotionally distressing as physical harassment. Some stalking victims may worry that they are overreacting to their spouse’s behavior. However, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If your spouse’s actions make you fear for your safety or the safety of your children, family members, or pets, you need to take action right away.

Obtaining an Order of Protection

Orders of protection, which are sometimes called restraining orders, are legally enforceable court orders that prohibit someone from harassing or abusing another person. An Emergency Order of Protection can often be obtained immediately if a person fears for their safety. These orders may include several different provisions, including but not limited to:

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