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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Attorney in Chicago

If you or your children are victims of domestic violence, it is important to recognize that it is not your fault, it is not ok, and you are not alone. While domestic violence can take many different forms, some aspects are crystal clear: physical violence, threats of physical violence, and sexual assaults.

Chicago Child Custody Lawyer

Domestic violence can also include, for example, stalking, threatening self-harm in order to control your actions, or destroying your property in order to control your actions. It is sometimes emotionally difficult to take appropriate steps to stop domestic violence through the courts or the police because it may involve someone you love or who is the father or mother to your child.  If you believe you or your child are suffering from domestic violence, it is important that you understand that you have a number of options. If this is the challenging situation you find yourself in, an experienced Chicago domestic violence attorney can help. 

Domestic Violence Classified

As mentioned, domestic violence can take wide-ranging forms (some of which may surprise you). Consider the following:

  • Physical Abuse – When most of us think about domestic violence, we think of physical abuse, which includes conduct such as hitting, slapping, physically restraining, or pushing.   A physical assault does not need to leave marks to constitute domestic violence. While the presence of bruises and other physical marks makes proving domestic violence easier, bruising, and other marks are not a requirement. You can get protection from domestic violence even if you were not left with bruises or other marks.
  • Threats Certain threats can rise to the level of domestic violence. Threats to kill you or to physically harm you can certainly constitute domestic violence. You do not have to wait until you are actually attacked to seek protection. While it may come down to your word against the other person’s word, courts are there to decide who to believe. Just because it is only “your word,” does not mean that you cannot successfully get protection.
  • Sexual Abuse – Sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence. It is not limited to rape. Certain types of unwanted touching can constitute domestic violence.
  • Harassment – Harassment is a broad category that includes a lot of different conduct. When deciding whether harassment rises to the level of domestic violence, you need to look at both its severity and duration. The more severe the conduct, the less important is its duration. Sending abusive and inappropriate emails over an extended period of time can constitute domestic violence.  Threats to disclose personal and embarrassing information to others can also rise to the level of domestic violence depending on the type of information involved. Making derogatory comments about you to your employer can constitute harassment for purposes of Illinois’ domestic violence laws. These are only examples, and it is important to recognize that not every type of inappropriate communication represents domestic violence. If you believe you are being harassed, you should contact an attorney who has experience dealing with domestic violence issues.

How Domestic Violence Impacts Divorce and Child Custody

Leaving an abusive partner or spouse is not as easy as it may seem to those outside of the relationship, especially when children are involved. Fear, intimidation, or threats may be used to prevent you from protecting yourself or exercising your rights. If you need help, the law is on your side and can offer you relief before, during, and after a divorce, including:

  • An emergency order of protection that can go into effect nearly immediately for a short term.
  • A final order of protection that can remain in effect for a year or two years.
  • Emergency or temporary orders restricting the abuser’s visitation rights.

It’s important to note that these protections are also available to unmarried parents or partners, and parents may request orders of protection on behalf of their children. 

An order of protection can order a number of different things, such as,  prohibiting contact (direct and indirect), prohibiting the abuser from going to your place of employment, or preventing the abuser from sending distinct types of communications to your family and friends. If you are living with the person abusing you, an order of protection will get the abuser removed from your home.  If the domestic violence was directed towards your children, an order of protection can prevent the abuser from having any unsupervised parenting time with the children.  Overall, once a court is convinced domestic violence has occurred, the court has a wide range of actions it can take to protect you and your children.

Seek the Professional Legal Guidance that You Need from an Experienced Chicago Family Law Attorney Today

Domestic violence is not something you should tolerate or accept, ever, and when left unaddressed, it can escalate. Obtaining help when you need it is paramount. The Law Offices of George M. Sanders in Chicago are dedicated to advocating for your legal rights and your ongoing safety. We can help you address abusive behavior before, during, or after a divorce or custody case. Your health and wellbeing are important, so please do not wait to reach out and contact us today for more information about what we can do to help you, if you believe you are the victim of domestic violence.

Contact Our Illinois Divorce & Custody Law Firm Today

You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at 312-624-7645 to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.

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