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What Is an Order of Protection in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Orland Park order of protection attorney

People who find themselves in abusive relationships can feel trapped and helpless. From the outside, leaving one's abuser may seem like the obvious answer. However, things are not always so cut and dry. One of the most common fears of those looking to escape an abusive relationship is a potential violent backlash from their partner, as well as concerns about how to support themselves financially and ensure their children's safety. These are real fears, and they can make someone stay in a dangerous relationship to avoid the possible consequences. For individuals who find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship, options are available to protect them. Illinois offers its residents orders of protection to keep them safe from abusers who may harm them.

What Can an Order of Protection Do?

Many may have heard of an “order of protection” under a different name -- a restraining order. This is not the correct legal term; however, this colloquial term is often used by those who are outside of the legal or law enforcement fields. An order of protection is a legal mandate that restricts an abuser from coming in contact with his or her victim(s). In Illinois, orders of protection are available to family or household members, and they hold a lot of power once they are granted. Many think that an order of protection simply bans one person from seeing another, but there are many other stipulations that can be tied to the court mandate depending on the situation. An order of protection may do the following:

  • Prohibit the abuser from making threats of abuse and continuing abusive behavior.

  • Ban the abuser from a shared residence or require him or her to stay elsewhere while he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Ban the abuser from seeing you and others protected by the order (this can include going near your workplace, school, and/or other specific locations).

  • Require the abuser to attend counseling.

  • Ban the abuser from hiding your child or taking him or her out of state.

  • Provide you with temporary custody of your child.

  • Specify parenting time rights and restrictions, including requiring supervision to be present during a person's time with their children.

  • Ban the abuser from accessing your child’s educational or medical records.

  • Require the abuser to relinquish certain physical property or pay for any damaged property.

  • Require the abuser to pay child support, reparations for injuries or other harm caused, and/or for you and your child’s shelter or counseling.

  • Require the abuser to surrender any weapons to law enforcement.

Does an Order of Protection Really Work?

An order of protection is not just a piece of paper; it is a court order that both you and your abuser are required to follow. Those who violate orders of protection can face serious consequences that could damage their futures. Violating one of these orders is considered a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that the offender could face 364 days in jail and a fine up to $2,500. If the abuser violates the order a second time, this charge can increase to a felony. In some cases, your abuser may try to contact you or your children after you have filed an order of protection. In these cases, you should call the police to ensure that the restrictions are enforced.

Contact an Orland Park Family Law Attorney

It can often take years for those in abusive relationships to recognize the toxicity of the situation and take legal action against their abuser. Even if you have suffered abuse, it can be emotionally difficult to take active steps against your partner and brave the uncertainty of a future on your own. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., our attorneys will assist you with properly completing the necessary paperwork to ensure that your safety is no longer at risk. With over 30 years of experience protecting Illinois residents from domestic violence, we put our clients first. If you are considering filing for an order of protection or would like more information about the process, contact our Orland Park order of protection lawyers at 708-226-9904 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:
http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/ordersofprotection.html

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/CountyDepartment/DomesticViolence/OrdersofProtection.aspx

 

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