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Domestic violence is a very serious concern, and those who are victims of domestic violence need to take steps to protect themselves immediately. One such step is requesting an order of protection; another is to file for a divorce simultaneously.

At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our Naperville family law attorneys can help you to understand how an order of protection and petition for divorce may be sought at the same time, and what steps you need to take to keep yourself safe.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legally-binding court order that is issued by a judge, and that tells an abusive party to stop harming or threatening you or other members of your household. There are three types of protection orders in Illinois:

  • Emergency order of protection – An emergency order of protection, also called an ex parte order, is an order that is issued without a hearing due to the threat of harm that the petitioner is suffering. Emergency orders are temporary.
  • Plenary order of protection – This type of protection order is issued after a hearing has taken place and may follow an emergency protection order. A plenary order of protection can last up to two years.
  • Interim order of protection – In between the time that the respondent has been served with the petition for an order for protection (or attempts to serve the respondent have been made) and the date of the hearing, an interim order of protection may be put in place. An interim order lasts up to 30 days.

Orders of Protection and Divorce

A petitioner often pursues an order of protection and a divorce at the same time. In some cases, the petitioner may be living in a violent or abusive household, and may pursue an order of protection first, followed by putting steps in place to legally separate from their spouse. Other times, a person will seek a divorce first, which will then anger their spouse to the point that the petitioner believes themselves to be at risk of harm, and then the petitioner may file an order of protection as a result. Regardless of the order, pursuing an order of protection and a petition for dissolution of marriage at the same time often makes sense. Indeed, if you are requesting an order of protection from your spouse, you may also want to make sure that you are granted custody of your children, can remain in your house, will receive maintenance payments, etc.

Our Attorneys Are Here to Help

Divorce can be emotional; when combined with domestic violence, dissolving a marriage can be especially complex and tricky to navigate. When you call our experienced family law attorneys at the offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we will work hard to protect you and your best interests. Reach us today for an initial consultation about how to seek a domestic violence order of protection, how to file for divorce, or how to do both at the same time.

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