Orders of Protection: Part I
What is an order of protection in DuPage County? According to the Illinois Attorney General’s website, orders of protection are court orders that “restrict an abuser.” They are designed to prevent an abuser from doing any harm to the petitioner or to his or her children. It is important to know that they are only available to family members of members of the same household. In other words, orders of protection are not designed to protect individuals from casual acquaintances or persons they do not know very well. Rather, they are to protect individuals from a violent family member or from another person who lives in the same household.
Domestic violence is an issue that impacts member of the Muslim community in DuPage County. If you have questions or concerns about an order of protection, you should speak with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney.
Who Counts as a Family or Household Members?Since an order of protection can only be granted to protect an individual from a family member or a household member, it is important to understand what kinds of people fall into these categories. In general, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60/) defines family or household members as:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Children and stepchildren;
- People related by blood or prior marriage;
- People who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, such as a house or an apartment;
- People who share or allegedly share a child;
- People who currently or previously dated or were engaged, including same-sex couples;
- People with disabilities and their personal assistants; and
- Certain caregivers.
What Can Orders of Protection Do?
An Illinois order of protection can serve many different functions. As the Illinois Attorney General’s website explains, orders of protection may do some of the following:
- Prohibit an alleged abuser from threatening or abusing an individual, which includes but is not limited to physical abuse, harassment, and intimidation;
- Prevent the alleged abuser from sharing a residence;
- Prevent the alleged abuser from sharing a residence while using drugs or alcohol;
- Prevent the alleged abuser from taking your child out of the state;
- Order the alleged abuser to keep a distance from you, other persons protected by the order, and certain places like your work or school;
- Require the alleged abuser to attend counseling;
- Require the alleged abuser to pay child support;
- Require the alleged abuser to pay for losses caused by the abuse; and
- Require the alleged abuse to turn over firearms and other weapons to law enforcement.
Orders of protection can also do other things, and it is important to learn more by speaking with a family law attorney.
How Does an Individual Obtain an Order of Protection?
There are a number of ways to obtain an order of protection, including but not limited to the following:
- Hiring an attorney who can file for you in civil court;
- Requesting an order of protection along with your divorce; and
- Requesting an order of protection during a criminal trial.
For orders of protection to be granted, the court will need to get specific information from you. Under Illinois law, a petition for an order of protection must be in writing and must “allege that petitioner has been abused by respondent, who is a family or household member.” In addition, you may need to provide certain facts, such as:
- Your address, including your county and state;
- Details concerning all incidents of abuse;
- Names of children; and
- Information about currently pending actions between the petitioner and the alleged abuser.
In the event that revealing your address could result in further abuse, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act notes that this information can be omitted.
Contact an Islamic Family Lawyer in DuPage County
Seeking an order of protection can be complicated, and it is important for members of the Muslim community in Oakbrook Terrace to seek advice from an experienced DuPage County family lawyer. At the Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have years of experience advocating for members of our community. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.