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What To Do If You Are Served With an Order of Protection During Your Divorce

Posted on in Family Law

Geneva Family Law AttorneyOrders of protection can be excellent tools to help victims of domestic abuse stay safe. Unfortunately, they can also be used abusively in high-conflict divorce cases. These orders typically prevent the alleged abuser from contacting the alleged victim and returning to the marital home. The requisite abuse need not be physical or violent in nature. Courts will grant restraining orders if they believe that harassment, restrictions of personal liberty, or other forms of abusive behaviors are taking place. In some cases, children may also be named as protected parties. If you are served with one, it can put you in a very difficult position. Your best bet is to immediately contact a qualified attorney and follow their instructions. 

My Spouse Obtained an Order of Protection Against Me. Now What?

The first and most important thing you must do is to obey the order exactly as it is written. Should you violate it, you could be arrested and charged with a crime. Even if the protection order came from the divorce court rather than any criminal court, it is illegal to violate it. You do not want to be battling a criminal case and your divorce case at the same time, and a protection order violation will do you no favors in divorce court. Here are some steps you can take if your spouse has you served with an order of protection during your high-conflict divorce: 

  • No contact - The order of protection will almost certainly prohibit you from having any contact with your spouse. This is not limited to in-person contact. Do not call your spouse, send them a letter, ask a mutual friend to pass along a message, or write an ambiguously-addressed social media post. 

  • Stay away - If you were still living in the same home as your spouse at the time you were served, odds are, you are being ordered to leave immediately. Immediately means immediately. Once you have the order, do not return to the home your spouse resides in, even if you were still living there. 

  • Property pick-up - If you are served while in the marital home, the deputies will most likely allow you a few minutes to grab some personal items, like clothes, a toothbrush, and a few items you need for work. Otherwise, you will need to arrange a date and time with the sheriff's department to have them escort you to pick up your things. 

  • Surrendering keys - If the order instructs you to turn in your keys to the residence, do so at once. 

  • Weapons - Those who are subject to a protection order may not possess firearms or certain other weapons. The deputies may confiscate these immediately - if they do, cooperate. Do not attempt to hide a weapon. If they do not, follow your attorney’s advice or the deputies’ instructions for getting these items out of your possession. 

Being subject to an unwarranted protection order can be devastating. However, any attempt to skirt the rules can land you in deeper trouble. It is important to consult an attorney immediately. 

Call a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you have been served with a protection order during your divorce, Serrano Hanson can help. Our Geneva divorce lawyers have seen this situation many times before and can offer guidance. Call us at 630-844-8781 so we can arrange a free consultation. 

 

Source: 

https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/ordersofprotection.html

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