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How Protective Orders Can Impact You Legally And Personally

When families go through a divorce or similarly turbulent time, emotions can run high and individuals may feel threatened or in danger of harm. When this occurs, an order of protection can be used to help eliminate danger. While these orders provide strong relief for victims of abuse, they are sometimes misused by one party in a domestic dispute to level false accusations and gain the upper hand.

At Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb, LLP, our family law attorneys have over 75 years of experience handling orders of protection in Will and Grundy Counties in Illinois. Our full service legal team is skilled, compassionate, and dedicated to protecting the interests of each client we serve. Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or you are being falsely accused of the same, we provide high quality representation and work hard to protect your rights and ensure your safety.

Understanding The Illinois Domestic Violence Act

Family and household members that engage in threatening or violent acts may be guilty of domestic violence in Illinois. Individuals covered under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act include:

  • Spouses or ex-spouses;
  • Couples who are currently dating or engaged or have dated or were engaged in the past (including same-sex couples);
  • Blood relatives;
  • Couples who share (or allegedly share) a child in common;
  • Those who currently share (or used to share) a common dwelling; and
  • Persons with disabilities and their caregivers.

Orders of protection can be sought if any household or family member is guilty of harassment, intimidation, stalking, exploitation, willful deprivation, interference with personal liberty, or physical abuse. The order can be used to obtain one or more forms of relief, including:

  • Prohibiting the alleged abuser from continuing to engage in the abusive, violent or threatening behavior;
  • Requiring the alleged abuser to appear in court or bring a child to court;
  • Ordering the alleged abuser to stay away from a shared residence;
  • Ordering the alleged abuser to stay away from the protected person(s) or their school, work or other specified location;
  • Ordering the alleged abuser to attend counseling or treatment;
  • Temporarily modifying the child custody/visitation arrangement;
  • Prohibiting the alleged abuser from hiding a child or taking them out of the state;
  • Requiring the alleged abuser to turn over guns or other weapons to law enforcement;
  • Prohibiting the alleged abuser from accessing the records of a child; and
  • Requiring the alleged abuser to take other actions for the safety of the protected person(s).

Orders of protection can be requested during a divorce, during a criminal trial for abuse or separately in a civil court filing. To prove the case, it is important to have as much documentation as possible. This includes photos, emails, text messages, eyewitness accounts, medical records, and police reports. If an individual violates an order of protection, it is a Class A Misdemeanor and can result in up to 364 days in county jail.

Protect Your Future

If you have an urgent situation and need immediate assistance to obtain or defend an order of protection, contact Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb, LLP, today at 815-770-2669, or email us. From our office in Joliet, our experienced family law attorneys serve clients in communities throughout Northern Illinois.