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Divorce and the Domestic Violence Act

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act, the DVA, was enacted to protect vulerable individuals from violence within the home or from significant others. It prohibits hitting, stalking, intimidating a dependent, restricting one’s freedom etc. 

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Unfortunately, there is now a tendency to claim Domestic Violence against the other party in Divorce and Custody Cases to gain the upper hand.

The Judge reads the Petition along with a sworn statement that is attached and pretty much has to take it at face value. If there is enough there to warrant a fear that real violence will result if the Court does not take action, that Judge could issue an order that you be thrown out out of the house or apartment or not be allowed to see your children.

The good news is that this is an Emergency Order. You will have a chance to refute the charges after you get the paperwork in what should be two weeks from the date the papers are served on you. At that time, after hearing your side of the story, the Court may allow you to return to the home you share with your family often times with a Restraining Order that neither one of you commit acts of violence against each other and if not in the same home that you stay away from one another or only communicate regarding the children.

If you are served with a Petition for Order of Protection, take it seriously. Get legal advice and representation. You want this to be temporary and to disappear from your record. You do not want it to influence the ultimate outcome of your Divorce or Custody Dispute. 

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