Domestic Violence in Illinois
Domestic violence not only disrupts the marital relationship, which may lead to a divorce, but it also creates danger for the victim and others living within the household. Further, domestic violence can occur between more individuals than just spouses. Ultimately, certain legal action should be taken when encountering domestic violence.
What is Domestic Violence?
Under Illinois law, domestic violence is defined as physical abuse, intimidation, harassing, interfering with the personal freedom, or willful deprivation of another family or household member. Family and household members are defined as:
- Family members related by blood;
- Individuals who are or used to be married to each other;
- Individuals who live or used to live together;
- Individuals who have a child with each other; and
- Individuals who are or used to be dating each other.
As the above definition indicates, domestic violence can occur between individuals in many different types of relationships.
Order of Protection
A victim of domestic violence should file for an order of protection—a court order that prohibits the accused abuser from committing any further domestic violence on the victim, in addition to providing other remedies. There are three different types of orders of protection: emergency, interim, and plenary. Emergency orders of protection last for no less than 14 days, but no more than 21 days. Interim orders are effective for up to 30 days. Plenary orders can be effective for up to two years. Depending on the specific type, an order of protection can provide the following remedies:
- Prohibit the accused abuser from entering the victim's residence;
- Order the accused abuser to stay away from the victim, including at the victim's school and place of employment;
- Require the accused abuser to attend counseling;
- Require the accused abuser to attend an alcohol or substance abuse program (if necessary);
- Require the accused abuser to attend a program on domestic violence; and
- Grant the victim temporary legal custody of any children, as well as order the accused abuser to pay child support.
It is important to note that the above listed are just some of the remedies available under an Order of Protection. The full list is contained under the Orders of Protection section of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
An important service is provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services, which operates a 24-hour hotline to call for advice if you or someone in your household is a victim of domestic abuse. This service provides free and private safety assistance to victims.
1-877-TO END DV (1-877-863-6338) (Voice)
Family Law Attorneys
Domestic violence is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on the health of a marriage. If you would like more information about the legal protections against domestic violence, or are interested in learning about the divorce process, please contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today. At MKFM Law, we understand the complexity and difficulty of dealing with these issues. Call us today at 630-665-7300.