You do not deserve to live in fear of harassment or violence. If your current or former partner makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with his or her frequent harassment or threats, you have the right to file an order of protection against him or her
An order of protection is a court-ordered requirement that the offender avoid all forms of contact with his or her victim. The individual who files for the order of protection is known as the “petitioner” and the person against whom it is filed is known as the “respondent.” It is a criminal offense to violate an order of protection and can result in fines or jail time for the respondent.
How to Obtain an Order of Protection
In Illinois, any individual who wishes to file an order of protection may do so with the circuit court of the county where he or she resides, the county where the respondent resides, or the county where the abuse occurred. Three different types of orders of protection are available to Illinois petitioners:
- Emergency Order of Protection. When a petitioner seeks an emergency order of protection, the respondent does not have to be present when it is issued. This type of order of protection is designed for individuals who are in immediate danger of domestic violence at the hands of the respondent.
- Plenary Order of Protection. After the petitioner and the respondent have brought their case before the judge, the judge may order a plenary order of protection for the petitioner. This type of order of protection may remain valid for up to two years.
- Interim Order of Protection. If a petitioner’s emergency order of protection expires before he or she can obtain a plenary order of protection, a judge may grant him or her an interim order of protection. This type of order offers the same protection that the other types offer and acts as a stopgap between the other two.
How an Order of Protection Can Help You
An order of protection may include any of the following stipulations to keep you safe from your former partner’s harassment, threats, or violence:
- Require him or her to reimburse you for certain legal fees;
- Give you full custody of any children you have together;
- Prevent him or her from contacting you in person or electronically;
- Require him or her to give up his or her firearms; and
- Alter his or her current visitation schedule with your children.
Your case may require only some of these stipulations. Conversely, it may require stipulations beyond those listed here. When you discuss your need for an order of protection with your attorney, he or she will assess your unique needs based on the circumstances of your case.
Divorce Attorneys in DuPage County
Do not allow your former partner to harass you for another moment. If you feel you are in danger because of his or her constant threats or harassment, call Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at (877) 889-4515 to discuss your case with one of our team’s qualified DuPage County divorce attorneys.