When an Order of Protection Is Abused
An order of protection is a serious legal tool used for people who are in abusive relationships, invoked to keep the abuser away and ensure the safety of a family at risk. It is meant to provide a level of security in potentially dangerous cirumstances.
A petition for an order of protection can be filed against any family or household member who has committed acts of domestic violence against you or your minor child. Any high-risk adult with disabilities may file a petition for an order of protection against his or her caretaker who has abused, neglected, or exploited him or her. If a person is living or employed in a private caretaking facility in which he or she has been neglected or abused, he or she is also eligible to file an order of protection.
It is important to note that the order of protection can only be filed against a family member or member of the household—although anyone may file an order of protection on behalf of a minor, even if he or she is not a family member. A household member includes a spouse or ex-spouse, anyone with whom you have an intimate relationship, a child, someone related by blood or marriage, or personal assistant / live-in caretaker. It can also include someone with whom you have lived in the past.
When properly utilized, an order of protection serves to take a person out of a volatile situation. Sometimes, however, according to the Illinois State Bar Association, an order of protection can be abused. This happens when an angry ex-spouse or ex-partner only wants to temporarily keep his or her ex at length—sometimes for very personal reasons. Such reasons may include perceived retribution or punishment, and in some cases, may be based purely on spite.
An example of this would be to petition for an emergency order of protection in order to keep the kids away from your ex for a holiday, or to keep an unwanted boyfriend or girlfriend away from your child. While these types of orders are usually thrown out when considered carefully by a judge, they can create many unforeseen problems for years into the future.
If you are considering filing a petition for an order of protection or would like to know more, do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Batavia family law attorney today.