A Chicago couple got married last year in what was deemed the social event of the season. Prominent Chicago business people and politicians came to the wedding. The couple moved into a beautiful condo in downtown Chicago to begin their life together. Unfortunately, after the honeymoon was over, problems began to arise within their marriage. The husband became verbally abusive and eventually started hitting his wife.
His wife, worried about the stigma of pressing charges or getting help, has avoided getting a protective order until now. After an especially nasty fight, she was left with two black eyes and a broken wrist. She has decided that she needs an order of protection and to file for divorce. She is left wondering, however, how victims of domestic violence can get an order of protection during the coronavirus pandemic. Is there anything she can do to keep herself safe?
How Does an Order of Protection Help?
An order of protection requires an abusive person to stop coming near you, harassing you, and physically injuring you. Illinois judges have the authority to stop the abusive person from contacting you in person or via text or email. If you live with your abuser, a judge can force the abuser to move out of your shared home. If you have children together, the judge can also prohibit the abuser from contacting or being around your children.
Where to Get an Order of Protection in Illinois
For those who have experienced domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic, there is help available. Victims of domestic violence can seek an order of protection from an Illinois judge. While many Chicago area courts are closed for other cases, they will still hear requests for protection orders. They recognize that protection orders are necessary to protect people from ongoing violence.
If you are in danger, you can request an order of protection. You will need to request the petition in a Court hearing and wear a mask if you appear personally. Keep in mind that during the pandemic the courthouse does not offer child care. While you can file a petition for an order of protection yourself, it is wise to hire an experienced lawyer to help you.
Illinois courts are holding hearings remotely through Zoom. Many courts are currently requiring Zoom hearings for petitions for stalking no contact orders, civil no-contact orders, and orders of protection. You must show up for your hearing. If you do not, the judge may dismiss your case or enter a default judgment against you. If you live outside of Cook County, you will need to check with your local court. However, Illinois courts must allow you into the court building during normal business hours for order of protection cases.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
Dealing with domestic violence can be extremely difficult, both physically and emotionally. An attorney can protect your rights while walking you through the process of obtaining an order of protection. When you need an attorney for your divorce or to file an order of protection, experience matters. We do not provide a free consultation because we view your initial consultation as the most important meeting you will have regarding your divorce. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.