Obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois

Domestic violence is a widespread problem that can have dangerous and even deadly consequences. If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are protections available to you. First and foremost, if you feel threatened by a partner, make sure that you are safe. Get to a safe space so that you can confront this problem and be able to move on to a better situation.

After making sure that you are safe, you may want to considering obtaining an Order of Protection against your abuser. An Order of Protection is a legal order that protects a victim from the abuse of a family or household member who has committed domestic violence against him or her or minor children. Under Illinois Domestic Violence law, abuse means “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.”

What does an Order of Protection do?

An Order of Protection is granted to protect a victim from an abuser. There are a wide variety of activities that can be prohibited under the order. Most commonly, a judge will require the abuser to:

  • Stay away from the victim and any other people named in the order
  • Have no contact at all with the victim and other named individuals. This includes calling, texting, email, contacting via social media, and even contacting the victim through a third party
  • Pay child support
  • Return property
  • Move out of a shared home
  • Stop the abusive acts that are the basis of the Order of Protection
  • Stay away from the victim and other named individuals’ work and school
  • Change parental responsibilities, like custody and visitation of the children

Types of Orders of Protection

There are three types of Orders or Protection.

  • Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). An EOP grants immediate protection to a victim of domestic violence. The victim is able to file a petition describing the reason a protective order is needed. Because this is an emergency, the abuser does not need to be notified. The victim will testify in front of the judge and that testimony is enough for the judge to grant the EOP. However, the EOP only lasts for 21 days. The idea behind issuing an EOP is to give the victim immediate protection, but still allow the abuser to be present at a future proceeding for a more permanent solution. After the EOP, a plenary hearing is scheduled.
  • Plenary Order of Protection. The Plenary Order of Protection is issued after a formal hearing with both the victim and abuser giving testimony. The parameters of the order will be determined. The order can last up to two years, with renewal an option after two years with an evidentiary hearing.
  • Interim Order of Protection. An Interim Order of Protection can be issued in the event that there is scheduling issues between an EOP and a plenary order. The interim order is issued for up to 30 days.

If you need to file an Order of Protection, the experienced family law attorneys at Hamilton & Antonsen, Ltd. can help. Your safety is our highest priority and we want to help you achieve the justice you deserve. Contact us today.