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Wheaton orders of protection attorneysEvery single year, more than 10 million Americans face some form of domestic abuse from an intimate partner. For women, domestic abuse from a spouse or partner is incredibly common. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 1 in 3 American women face some form of physical violence (slapping, punching, pushing, or life-threatening violence) from their intimate partner during their lifetimes. If you are being abused by your spouse, it is important to contact law enforcement officials and seek a way out of the relationship. Fortunately, a quality legal team can help you develop orders of protection and expedite the divorce process.

The Importance of Leaving the Relationship

In cases of domestic violence, many victims let their feelings for the abuser (or fear over the risk of an abuser's retaliation) be the reason they stay. In all reality, outside of increased chances of potentially fatal injuries, repeated domestic violence can only come with harmful ramifications.

Repeat domestic abuse victims are more likely to face post-traumatic stress, increased anxiety, and a lack of self-confidence. Additionally, children involved in households in which domestic violence is present are more likely to be physically harmed themselves. According to the NCADV, 1 in 15 American children witness domestic abuse at home. What is more, these children may suffer maladjustment issues because of the abuse they have either witnessed or experienced, and that can have life-lasting ramifications. 

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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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Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in America. In fact, it seems there is a news story almost daily on the death or injury of a domestic violence victim. Often, the reported violence is connected to a victim trying to leave, either through separation or divorce. It is, by far, the most dangerous time for them. Learn how to protect yourself and your children during a divorce with help from the following information, and the aid of an experienced attorney.

Leaving is the Most Dangerous Time for Abuse Victims

Abusers who are losing control of their victim can become unpredictable and exceedingly violent. Some may even resort to showing up at the victim's place of employment or home. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate against this type of behavior. Victims can seek help with an order of protection, which bars the abuser from coming within a certain distance from the victim. Divorcing victims can also let their attorney handle all communications between themselves and their spouse, which can limit any opportunity for an argument. Above all, remember to contact the authorities if you fear you are in immediate danger.

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