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Wheaton divorce lawyersEvery minute, 20 people in the United States are abused by an intimate partner. Someone they love and trust. Perhaps also someone to which they are married. Sadly, leaving such a marriage is rarely easy. There is the risk of retaliation, and the legal system still has gaps in its protection of victims. Thankfully, there are ways that married victims can protect themselves. One of them is the use of a safety plan. Learn more about how it can help you, and what other strategies you may have to protect yourself from an abusive spouse during divorce or legal separation.

What is a Safety Plan?

A safety plan is a detailed account of how you will respond to various situations. It can also help to ensure you have all the documents and information you need to move forward with your life once you leave (i.e. birth certificate, social security card, school transfer papers for the children, bank account information, etc.). You can also incorporate family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers into a safety plan to improve the transition process. A few things you may wish to address could include:

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DuPage County restraining order lawyers, orders of protectionIf you or your child has been the victim of violence from a family member, you may be considering getting a restraining order to help protect yourself and other family members at risk of being victims of violence. Indeed, it is important to have a basic understanding of domestic violence and restraining order laws in Illinois.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, formally called an “Order of Protection,” prohibits a person from engaging in abusive or harassing behavior. Orders of protection are issued after there has been evidence of domestic violence. In Illinois, domestic violence is defined as abuse by one family or household member against another family or household member. “Family or household member” includes a spouse or ex-spouse, children, stepchildren, people who share a child, parents, people who are dating each other or used to date, and people who live together or used to live together. Domestic violence also includes a person with disabilities and his or her caretaker.

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DuPage County family lawyers, protective order basicsHuman relationships are complex. Unfortunately, these same relationships can become abusive. Abuse can become more intense if a couple decides to divorce or separate. When this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do in order to protect you and your family. This is particularly true when children are the victims of the abuse. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) specifically forbids a family member or members of the same household from abusing others in their home.

The IDVA defines abuse as:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Intimidating a dependent; and/or
  • Willful deprivation.

You Can Take Action

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DuPage County domestic violence lawyers, orders of protectionYou should not live in fear of another person. If you are divorcing or separating from your partner and he or she is harassing or abusing you, you may be able to request an order of protection to protect yourself from further harm.

An order of protection provides a set of rules detailing how an individual can interact with the individual who requested the order. It is against the law for the other person to violate the order. If you are living with abuse, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for help with your situation. 

Types of Orders of Protection

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DuPage County family law attorney, parenting timeOne of the most difficult things to deal with is an allegation of domestic violence in the middle of a family law case. Because judges rightfully take domestic violence claims seriously, even unfounded allegations can drastically affect the way a family law case moves forward. Sometimes, even parenting time is cut off. If you are the subject of domestic violence allegations, you need to understand your rights.

Types of Allegations

There are several different types of domestic violence allegations. If one party accuses the other of abuse in a court filing or during testimony, the court will have to consider what proof is available to support these claims. While these allegations will be taken seriously, they are often given less credence than other types of allegations. 

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

domestic violence dataThe issue of domestic violence continues to be a popular topic in national news. Many describe it as an epidemic, perhaps in part due to its inherent capability to reach broad bases of socioeconomic victims as well we perpetrators. Likely due in large part to the media attention this topic has received recently, data regarding domestic violence is being analyzed by experts on a frequent basis.

Data Reports

Statistically speaking, there are two very different sides to the story when it comes to matters of domestic violence. On one hand, states that incidents of domestic violence between romantic partners has dropped by about 60 percent since the mid-1990s, according to figures released by the Justice Department. However, that decrease has been essentially stalled since approximately 2004, with similar numbers holding constant for the past several years. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 “serious” violence incidents involving intimate partners were committed per day in 2013. Such incidents are defined as involving either sexual assault or aggravated physical assault.

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illinois order of protectionDomestic violence is a significant problem for many individuals, and a serious crime for offenders. It is defined as the hitting, choking, kicking, threatening, harassing, or interfering with the personal liberty of another by a family or household member. Victims of domestic violence can often secure an order of protection against the abuser as long as he or she fits into the class of persons defined as family or household members.

Order of Protection

Information on the Illinois Attorney General’s website provides that an order of protection is an order from the court that restricts an abuser from engaging in harmful acts towards their victim and is only available to household or family members. An order of protection can act in the following ways, including others:

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order of protection, restraining order, domestic abuse, domestic violence, family lawyerDomestic violence is a serious issue that plagues many more people than some realize. When a person thinks about domestic violence, it is usually within the context of a romantic relationship, but the legal definition expands beyond those terms. For those who are the victims of such violence, protection is available and can be legally enforced.

Domestic Violence

Although the majority of domestic violence cases likely occur between two people who are or were romantically involved, there are other situations that also give rise to domestic violence according to law, and they deserve attention as well. In order to have a request for an order of protection granted, the person must demonstrate that they are the victim of domestic violence. For this purpose, the law defines domestic violence as:

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In Illinois, and any other state for that matter, victims of domestic abuse and violence may seek safety through what is called an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a legal court document, signed by a judge, that explicitly orders one individual (the abuser) to stay away from or to stop a certain behavior toward another individual (the victim.) The person who files for the order is referred to as the “petitioner”, while the person against which the order has been filed is known as the “respondent.” If the respondent fails to adhere to the rules listed in the Order of Protection, they will very likely be arrested. order of protection IMAGEThere are three different types of Orders of Protection, the first and least temporary one known as an Emergency Order of Protection. These are typically granted right away so as to stop abuse as soon as possible and only last for 14 to 21 days. If the petitioner wishes to have the abuser removed from the shared home, the judge must believe that the immediate danger of abuse is greater than the hardship to the abuser of being spontaneously removed from his or her home. The second type of Order is called an Interim Order of Protection. These orders last up to 30 days, a bit longer than the emergency orders. These are granted by a judge while waiting for something else to happen-typically a hearing or a trial. You do not need to have a full court hearing to be granted an interim order, the abuser is required to make an initial appearance before the court or have been notified of the date of the hearing. Interim orders are typically used to cover the time between your emergency order’s termination and the full court hearing for a longer-lasting plenary order. The third and most permanent Order of Protection is the Plenary order. These are only granted after a full court hearing in which both the abuser and victim have a chance to present evidence. They may last for up to two years and may be renewed as many times as you wish. If you or someone you know has a question about obtaining an Order of Protection, feel free to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

Posted on in Domestic Violence
Domestic violence” is a term that we hear from friends, family, teachers, the television, etc. However, there is sometimes a bit of confusion as to what exactly domestic violence, or abuse, can include. Abuse does not solely mean physical violence. According to Illinois State Police, domestic abuse can also refer to harassment (creating disturbances at work, repeatedly telephoning, following or watching you, threatening to harm you), making a child or other person watch abuse, forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, or denying a disabled person access to needed care.  These acts are considered domestic abuse if they are carried out by a family or household member. Under Illinois law, a family or household member can be any of the following:
  • Family members related by blood or marriage
  • People who are married or used to be married
  • People who share or used to share a home, apartment, etc.
  • People who have or say they have a child in common
  • People who have or say they have a blood relationship through a child
  • People who are dating or used to date
  • People with disabilities and their personal assistants
Sometimes, domestic violence can start out as small acts of abuse and control. For example, a potentially abusive partner can start things out by keeping track of the other’s schedule and whereabouts, being bossy or demanding, blaming others for his or her mistakes, accusing the other of flirting or cheating, constantly criticizing the other, controlling all of the money, or even simply humiliating the other in front of others. There are many other indicators of potential violence, but these are just a few. If you or someone you know is being abused by a partner, or believe there is potential for abuse in the future, you do not have to go through it alone. Do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney to assist you in obtaining an Order of Protection.

Posted on in Divorce
LucyMany people use orders of protection when they are getting out of an abusive relationship. Sometimes, however, someone can get out of that relationship without one and it seems to be going well for a while, until the abuser comes back. Sometimes, after the couple is divorced and living their own lives, they are not bothered by one another. If your ex-husband or ex-wife continues to bother you after the divorce, it may be a good idea to file for an order of protection for your safety and the safety of your child. If children are involved, they may be listed in the order as “protected parties.” If this is the case, custody and/or visitation rights may be altered. It is possible that the alleged abuser will lose custody completely, or the visitation will be extremely limited by day, time, location and supervision and the alleged abuser will no longer be able to take the child out of the state. If the alleged abuser does not follow the specific instructions in the order, there could be serious consequences including arrest and fines or even jail time if you are convicted of breaking the order of protection. Because the order is only against the alleged abuser, the person who files the order cannot violate it and can, therefore, meet with the alleged abuser voluntarily. If this is the case, the accuser and accused can meet and no one will be violating the order. This must not be taken lightly though, because if the two meet, the accused can get into trouble if he or she cannot prove that the meeting was voluntary. If you are still having trouble with your ex-spouse, be sure to contact a family law attorney to help you file for an order of protection immediately. It is important for, not only, the person whom you are accusing, but also for you to know the details of the order. Contact the Davi Law Group in Illinois today.    
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