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The family law topic no one likes to talk about: Domestic abuse

Like other Illinois families, yours more than likely has its share of disagreements. If those incidents escalate, you may feel as though you need protection from a loved one. In family law, there are both civil and criminal repercussions for abusers, or potential abusers in the form of protection orders.

These orders place limitations on the contact and communications an alleged abuser can have with you and your children, if any. The order can prohibit the other party from threatening or perpetrating any sort of violence against you at work, home or school, among other places. Contact through other means such as phone calls, texts and emails can be prohibited. If you have children in common, visitation could also be restricted or even barred for the duration of the order. The other party may also have to surrender any firearms, and the court can impose other restrictions on a case-by-case basis.

You can petition for an emergency protection order that lasts for anywhere between 14 and 21 days until the parties can attend a hearing to determine whether the order should be extended. At the hearing, both sides will have the opportunity to provide evidence and testimony to the court. Thereafter, the court will determine what will happen next. 

Everyone has the right to be free from harm, but those accused of doing harm also have rights. Whether you are the one seeking the order or the one defending against it, it would be advantageous to secure representation from an Illinois family law attorney who also understands both the civil and criminal aspects of protection orders. He or she can advocate on your behalf to help achieve the outcome that protects your rights now and into the future.

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