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What Should You Do if You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence?

 Posted on September 07, 2023 in Family Law

Arlington Heights, IL domestic violence lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), domestic violence affects millions of Americans every year, with one in five homicides being carried out by the victim’s intimate partner.

It can be hard enough to gather the courage to leave a situation where you are a victim of domestic abuse, and even harder to think about actual legal actions like divorce. If you are reading this and find that you can identify with it, you should know about the options you have to protect yourself and your children. Suffering domestic abuse is a terrible experience that no one should have to go through. An Arlington Heights, IL attorney will walk you through what you can do and fight hard to get you the best resolution for you.

File a Petition for Sole Custody

In the State of Illinois, two parents who share children and are getting a divorce generally will have some sort of shared custody arrangement. What is commonly known as custody is split up into two categories: parental responsibilities (referring to the ability to make important decisions for the child) and parenting time (visitation, or the amount of time a parent is physically with their child).

Most Illinois divorces involving a couple with children end up with an arrangement allowing for shared parental responsibilities and parenting time. However, if one parent can be proven to be harmful to the children, the other parent can win sole custody.

You can petition the court for sole custody as a part of your general divorce petition. If you do this, the burden of proof falls on you. Providing proof of your spouse’s inability to maintain employment, poor living conditions, abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, or substance), or incapability to care for the children will help your case.

File a Petition for an Order of Protection

A domestic abuse victim can file for an Order of Protection, commonly known as a restraining order, which can prohibit your abusive spouse from coming near or contacting you and your children.

Although court proceedings generally take some time to be processed, there is something called an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). It only provides temporary protection for up to 21 days, and after that period you will need to attend a hearing to receive the next temporary order, lasting up to two years, called a Plenary Order of Protection. The punishment for someone violating an Order of Protection is arrest and incarceration, so while they are not completely failsafe, abusers tend to take Orders of Protection seriously.

Contact an Arlington Heights Family Law Lawyer

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you might be feeling overwhelmed by everything you are dealing with, emotionally, physically, and financially. Our team has a proven history of helping many people like you successfully start the next chapter of their lives. An experienced Illinois divorce attorney at A. Traub & Associates will fight hard to get you what you need and will treat you with respect and sensitivity as you embark on this journey. Call 847-749-4182 today.

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