Obtaining an order of protection is one of the most helpful actions that Illinois victims of domestic violence can take. An order of protection legally prohibits your abuser from having contact with you and other victims. Forms of domestic violence include:
- Physical abuse;
- Intimidation; and
- Obstruction of personal liberties.
A domestic violence incident may be an emergency for the victim, but obtaining and keeping an order of protection requires following a legal process. The steps are meant to provide immediate and lasting protection for domestic violence victims, while also protecting the accused from false or unfair claims.
Types of Orders
An order of protection determines who the offender may have contact with and may require that support payments be made to the victim. However, a court will not impose any long-term conditions on the accused until it rules on the case in a hearing. At the same time, the law recognizes that victims need immediate relief from their suspected abusers. There are three types of orders of protection that are used at different stages of the legal process:
- An emergency order lasting 14 to 21 days can be granted the same day it is filed without the accused needing to attend. The order is meant to protect the accuser until the initial court hearing;
- A court may issue a 30-day interim order once the accused makes an initial court appearance or is given sufficient notice to attend a hearing; and
- A plenary order is the final order that the court issues if it sides with the accuser in the case.
Renewal and Modification
A plenary order of protection only lasts two years in Illinois, but you can renew the order an unlimited number of times. The process may be straightforward if you are not seeking to modify the order and the other party does not contest the extension. If the extension is contested, you must show why the order is still necessary and that there has not been a change of circumstances. You can also request to modify the order at any time. Reasons for modification may include:
- Additional abusive behavior that necessitates greater protective measures;
- A change in living circumstances that also changes what you need from the order; and
- A resolution in the criminal charges related to the domestic abuse.
As a victim of domestic violence, you need help in filing for an order of protection against your abuser. A Kane County family law attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., will lead you through the process of obtaining the order. To schedule a consultation, call 630-879-9090.