If your spouse or family member has threatened to harm you or your children, your safety becomes a Number One concern. You can seek protection from the court, but it is critical that you also work with an advocate or attorney who understands the dangers you face and can work with you to develop a safety plan.
At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., our attorneys work with women and men throughout the Chicago area who are facing dangerous situations and need to seek legal protection. As Chicago orders of protection and child custody lawyers, we will explain your legal options and discuss how family violence can influence a divorce or child custody case.
If you are seeking help for domestic violence, it’s important to understand that abusers often monitor their partner’s activities. This includes looking at what sites you visit online. There are ways to delete your Internet history, but doing so can be a red flag to your partner that you’re trying to hide something. If you are concerned about this, be very careful or contact our office immediately.
The law broadly defines domestic violence to include any family or sexual relationship. Spouses, intimate partners, parents, children and other household members are just some of the relationships that the law recognizes for needing extra protection from threats or actual physical violence. A parent or other adult can request an order on behalf of minor children if they are at risk.
Domestic violence includes a variety of actions, including:
There is no way to predict if a situation will become especially dangerous, but victims of domestic violence are at the highest risk when they attempt to leave an abusive situation. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children, and it is important that you take precautions as you prepare to leave.
An Order of Protection is a civil order that a victim of abuse can seek from the court that will provide notice to the abusing party that he or she is not to have contact with the victim. After filing the application for the Order of Protection, a judge will decide whether the facts in the request justify an immediate order before the other party has an opportunity to be heard by the court. This is called an Ex Parte order.
After a judge issues an Order of Protection, the initial order will only be valid for 10 days before a full hearing is held. At the hearing, it is necessary to provide evidence in the form of testimony or other means to prove that the alleged violence occurred and that a longer order is justified.
When a court decides these cases, it also has the ability to make orders regarding support, custody, and visitation until such time that those issues can be resolved in a divorce proceeding.
In the event that an Order of Protection is violated, it is possible that the offender could be criminally prosecuted, and if found guilty, serve jail or prison time.
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your children, contact our Chicagoland domestic violence law firm or call our office at 312-624-7645 to set up an initial consultation. We can work to help you protect yourself and your children during this difficult time.