How do protective orders work in cases of domestic violence?

A woman and child hugging

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call us for assistance in escaping your abuser.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, we understand that no divorce is ever easy, but it can be especially difficult if you are trying to escape an abusive spouse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as any situation in which you or your children are being harmed by a loved one – usually an intimate partner. This harm is not solely restricted to physical violence, however. You can also be a victim of domestic abuse if your spouse uses intimidation, insults or emotional manipulation to control you or restrict you from certain activities.

Many abusers go to great lengths to keep their victims from leaving, up to and including threatening their physical safety or that of the children. This is where a protective order may be useful. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, you have several options for protective orders in Illinois. Your first step would be to seek a temporary order. This would give you time to get to a safe place, or to take steps to have your spouse removed from the home. A protective order prohibits your abuser from contacting or approaching you and your children. Violating the terms of the order may result in criminal charges.

An emergency order generally lasts between two weeks and 21 days. During this time, you may seek an interim order if you haven’t yet had a hearing for a plenary order. Interim orders extend your protection up to 30 days. Applying for a plenary order requires a full hearing, during which both of you will have the chance to present your case. The judge will consider the evidence of domestic violence and may grant protection for up to two years. You may apply to renew a plenary order of protection as many times as you feel it is necessary.

If you are taking the steps to end an abusive marriage, an experienced family law attorney may be your greatest ally. At The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, we strive to protect those who are affected by domestic violence. We can advise you of your rights and help you obtain the protective order you need to keep you and your children safe.