In Illinois and throughout the United States, when proceedings take place to obtain a divorce or address matters of child custody and/or visitation, issues at hand can become quite complex. When allegations of domestic violence or abuse exist, a spouse pursuing divorce, including custody of a child, sometimes files for an order of protection against the other spouse. This can be requested as a means of protecting a child who is thought to be at risk for abuse from the other parent.
Orders of protection can be filed in relation to various types of domestic violence issues. Physical abuse is an obvious form of domestic offense against a child. Additionally, interfering with personal liberty, emotionally harassing a child or depriving him or her of basic needs for shelter, food and clothing are also considered potential acts of domestic violence for which a protection order may be filed.
In some cases, an order of protection is issued on an emergency basis. Under such circumstances, the judge would render a decision based on the custodial parent’s testimony and would not have to inform the non-custodial parent prior to issuing the protection order. This is usually considered a temporary order that lasts for a short term. A plenary order of protection lasts approximately two years and is typically only issued after both parents have testified before the court.
It is generally advisable for any person filing a request for a protection order in conjunction with a divorce or child custody proceeding to obtain legal representation in the matter. Each person in Illinois retains the right to hire a legal professional to act as his or her advocate during court proceedings. This enables him or her to seek professional guidance and clarification on issues that can be confusing when attempting to navigate the legal system.
Source: womenslaw.org, “Orders of Protection“, Accessed on July 8, 2015