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Wheaton order of protection attorney divorceIf you have been the victim of abuse by your spouse, you may be considering divorce. However, your primary concern is likely ensuring that you and your children are safe. To protect yourself from your abuser, you can ask a judge for an order of protection. This will not only require the abuser to stop abusive activities, but it may also ensure that they stay away from you and your children, refrain from contacting you in any way, and require them to attend counseling and pay child support. This can provide you with much-needed protection in the steps leading up to divorce as you begin to put permanent solutions in place.  

There are three types of orders of protection in Illinois:

Emergency Order of Protection

This type of order can be used to obtain immediate protection from an abuser. It will go into effect as soon as it is approved by a judge approves, and the alleged abuser (known as the respondent) will be notified and required to follow the terms of the order. The respondent does not need to be present at the hearing where an emergency order is granted. An order will typically last from 14 to 21 days or until a hearing can be held to determine whether further protection is necessary.

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Illinois restraining order lawyersHere in the state of Illinois, orders of protection are defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, as a safeguard for a victim of abuse, seeking protection from an offender. Criminal acts that could warrant an order of protection, include acts of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. If you have been served with a protective order, it is important to understand the language of the order and avoid any violations.

Three Types of Orders of Protection

In the state of Illinois, there are three types of protective orders, an emergency order of protection (EOP), a plenary order, and an interim order of protection. An emergency order of protection can be issued without notifying the respondent, due to the risk of harm. While an emergency order of protection represents a sufficient option for the short term, these orders are only valid for a maximum of 21 days. As soon as an emergency order is issued, a hearing for a plenary order is scheduled. A plenary order can only be issued after a hearing with both the petitioner and respondent (the respondent can choose to remain absent for the hearing, but must be notified of the hearing date). A plenary order can last for a maximum of two years. An interim order of protection can be issued if the respondent has been served but the litigation is still in process. Interim orders of protection last for a maximum of 30 days.

Violating an Order of Protection

If you have been served with a protective order, it is critically important to have thorough conversations with your attorney about the language of the order. Violating non-contact rules can potentially result in criminal punishment. Depending on the rules set in court, non-contact rules could include phone calls, emails, social media posts, or contact through a third party. In the state of Illinois, protective order violation can result in a Class A Misdemeanor. If you are convicted of more than one violation under the same order of protection, you will be charged with a Class 4 Felony. A Class 4 Felony can lead to up to 3 years in prison, and fines of up to $25,000.

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