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How Can I Obtain an Order of Protection?
03 Mar, 2024
Family Law

How Can I Obtain an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is a legal measure designed to safeguard individuals from abuse, harassment, and threats by another person. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe or threatened by someone close to you, obtaining an Order of Protection can provide the necessary legal protection. 

This article will delve into obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois, the different types available, and the crucial role a family law attorney can play in assisting you through this challenging process.

Obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois

In Illinois, an Order of Protection is a court order prohibiting an individual from engaging in harmful behaviors towards you or any other protected party. You don’t have to struggle alone, a family law attorney can help. 

To obtain an Order of Protection, the following steps need to be taken:

  1. Filing a Petition: The process typically begins with a petition for an Order of Protection at the local courthouse. The petitioner must provide specific details about the alleged abuse or harassment and explain the reasons for seeking protection.
  2. Temporary Order: An Emergency Order of Protection can be issued without a full hearing in emergency situations, such as imminent danger. This temporary order offers immediate protection, usually lasting for a few days until a court hearing can be scheduled.
  3. Court Hearing: Following the petition filing, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both parties can present their cases, and the court will decide whether to grant the Order of Protection.
  4. Granting of the Order: If the court finds sufficient evidence of abuse or harassment, it may grant a Plenary Order of Protection. This order can protect for up to two years and may include provisions for child custody, financial support, and other related matters.

Difference between an Order of Protection vs. a Restraining Order

In some states, the terms “Order of Protection” and “Restraining Order” are used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences in Illinois. An Order of Protection is specific to domestic violence, abuse, or harassment between family or household members. 

On the other hand, a Restraining Order can be applied to a broader range of situations, such as disputes between neighbors or acquaintances.

Different Types of Orders of Protection

When filing for an Order of Protection in Illinois, you may encounter various types of orders depending on your situation:

  1. Emergency Order of Protection: As mentioned earlier, this order is issued without a full hearing and provides immediate protection when there is an imminent threat of harm.
  2. Interim Order of Protection: This order may be granted between filing the petition and the court hearing to ensure protection until a decision is made.
  3. Plenary Order of Protection: A Plenary Order of Protection is the final order issued after a court hearing, protecting for an extended period, usually up to two years.

What Constitutes Abuse?

An Order of Protection is generally sought in cases of abuse, but it’s essential to understand what behaviors constitute abuse:

  • Physical abuse: Any physical harm or violence, including hitting, slapping, or causing bodily injury.
  • Emotional abuse: Manipulation, threats, verbal insults, and psychological harm fall under emotional abuse.
  • Harassment: Stalking, repeated phone calls, messages, or unwanted contact can be considered harassment.
  • Intimidation: Threatening behavior that induces fear or coerces compliance.
  • Economic abuse: Controlling finances, withholding money, or preventing access to resources.

Do you need an order of protection? Contact us today.

Obtaining an Order of Protection in Illinois is critical to ensure your safety and well-being in the face of abuse or harassment. By understanding the process and different types of orders, you can take appropriate action to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you need legal representation or guidance during this challenging time, SLG Family Law is here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys can support you by obtaining an Order of Protection, ensuring your rights are protected, and advocating for your safety. Contact SLG Family Law today to seek the assistance you need to navigate this challenging legal process.

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