Sometimes marriages are toxic and you and your children may be victimized by an abusive spouse. You may have come to the point where you are ready to move forward with divorce, but may have concerns regarding your and your children’s safety if you leave the marriage. An order of protection from the court can help protect you if you need to escape a volatile situation.
If you are being threatened by a member of your family or other household member, an order of protection issued by the court can prohibit an abuser from continuing threats and abuse whether it be physical abuse, harassment or intimidation, interference with liberty or willful deprivation. An order of protection can order an abuser to stay away from you and other persons protected by the order. It can specify that an abuser stay away from you or your family members at work, school or other locations.
If children are involved, a court order can grant you temporary physical custody of the children or give you temporary legal custody and specify visitation arrangements if granted. The order can go on to prevent the abuser from accessing child records, taking the child outside of the state and order the abuser to bring the child to court if they are outside of your custody. The order can require the abuser to pay you support for minor children living with you and to pay for your or your children’s shelter or counseling services. Personal property will be sorted out and an order to
return these items undamaged can be issued.
To protect you from further abuse or retaliation the order can require an abuser to attend counseling and, if he or she possesses firearms or other weapons, the order can require all weapons be surrendered to law enforcement if there is risk of use against you. Other issues can be addressed by either prohibiting or requiring other actions as needed for protection.
To obtain an order for protection, there are several ways to proceed. You may ask your attorney to file in civil court or request an order with your divorce. You may also request an order during a criminal trial for abuse. To seek an order of protection for yourself, you may get papers at your local circuit court or seek help from a local domestic violence program.
Source: Illinois Attorney General. gov,”Illinois Domestic Violence Act: Information for Victims”, accessed October 14, 2015.