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Chicago, IL 60602


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Chicago Domestic Violence Attorney

Andersonville Domestic Violence Attorney

Lawyer in Cook County Helping Abused Victims Seek Orders of Protection

If you are married to a spouse who is physically abusive—or you fear might become abusive if and when you file for divorce—your first step should be to get to a place where you are safe. If you have children, be sure that they are protected as well.

At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC, we understand that domestic abuse is not limited to acts of physical violence. You may also be the victim of abuse if your spouse is stalking you, monitoring you electronically, or harassing you, either in person or through electronic means. Our experienced team recognizes that domestic violence and abuse can destroy lives and devastate families. With this in mind, we are dedicated to helping you take the necessary action to protect your own well-being, as well as that of your children.

Illinois Orders of Protection

Illinois law gives judges the authority to issue orders of protection when a person has been a victim or is in danger of domestic violence. Sometimes known as a restraining order or a protection from abuse (PFA) order, an order of protection is a court-issued directive that is enforceable by law. Orders of protection are intended to prevent physical, emotional, and psychological abuse by limited contact between victims and their alleged abusers.

In Illinois, there are three types of orders of protection:

  • Emergency Orders of Protection: An emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based on the credible, sworn testimony of the victim of the victim's advocate. An emergency order can be issued without prior notice to the alleged abuser and can remain in effect for up to 21 days.
  • Plenary Orders of Protection: A plenary order of protection will only be issued after a full hearing at which both the victim and the alleged abuser will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. A plenary order can remain in effect for up two years, at which point a renewal hearing can be held.
  • Interim Orders of Protection: An interim order of protection can be issued for up to 30 days to cover the time between an emergency order and a plenary order of protection. If the hearing for a plenary order cannot be scheduled while the emergency order is still in effect, an interim order may be necessary.

The terms of an order of protection may vary, but they may include limitations on parenting time, restricted contact with children, and other efforts to keep victims safe. A person who ignores or fails to comply with an order of protection could be subject to prosecution in criminal court and may face serious penalties.

How Orders of Protection Can Affect Divorce Proceedings

If an order of protection has been issued to protect you or your children from abuse, any subsequent divorce proceedings are likely to be affected. Amicable negotiations, for example, will probably not be possible, nor will alternative resolution methods such as mediation. Options such as these rely on cooperation between spouses, which allegations or instances of abuse tend to prevent.

When children are involved, a custody evaluation will likely be ordered, and the court may appoint a guardian ad litem or child's representative to investigate your family's circumstances. Based on the results of the evaluation and investigation, the court will create a parenting arrangement and parenting time schedule in compliance with the terms of the protective order. Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross is approved to serve as a court-appointed guardian ad litem and child's representative, so he knows how the system works. He is prepared to put his training and experience to work in protecting you and your children, both now and in the future.

Contact Our Firm Today

If domestic violence or abuse is an issue in your family, we are ready to help. Contact The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC for a free limited consultation today. Call 312-984-1514 for an appointment. We serve individuals and families in Chicago, West Loop, Wrightwood, Lincoln Park, Old Town, River North, Bucktown, DePaul Area, Gold Coast, Greektown, Andersonville, and the rest of Cook County, Illinois.

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