Orders of protection — also known as restraining orders — are issued by courts to prevent domestic violence. They restrict an alleged abuser from coming into contact with the complainant, who is typically a member of the same household or family unit.
Illinois broadly defines the relationships that entitle a person to seek an order of protection. Those who can file include spouses, former spouses, individuals who share the same residence and parents who share a child. Disabled individuals and their caretakers also fall within the definition.
Illinois courts will issue an order of protection when a court finds that an individual in one of the above categories has been abused, neglected or exploited by a family or household member. It is not merely physical violence that can result in the grant of an order of protection: Even threats of physical violence can suffice.
When determining whether to issue an order of protection, a court considers the history of the relationship between the individuals. Also considered is the nature, frequency and severity of abuse. Other relevant information includes any injuries or other results of the abuse that might limit a victim’s ability to go through their daily routine. In addition, courts consider the hardships to either or both parties resulting from one of them having to leave the family residence. Financial and safety concerns will be weighed, including how removing the individual, even temporarily, might affect their ability to earn a living.
When minor children are involved, either directly or indirectly, cases become more complex. If a child was a victim to or witnessed domestic violence, the court may order a temporary change to custody (known as allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois). If a child was not involved in the alleged abuse, courts will weigh how to allow a child to continue a relationship with both parents while ensuring everyone stays safe.
The court determines the scope of the order of protection. The order can extend to staying away from the victim of abuse as well as from their place of work or school, their pets and other family members. An order can also limit the ability to sell or dispose of property and often can require that firearms be surrendered to local law enforcement.
If you are facing charges of domestic violence and are threatened with an order of protection, an skilled criminal attorney can provide a strong defense and demonstrate hardships that may lead the court to remove or modify the order.
At the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky, we have decades of experience litigating in family and district courts in Chicago, Skokie and neighboring areas. To schedule an initial consultation with our attorneys, please call our office at 847-416-1646 or contact us online.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and families. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As a…
Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her studies…