Spouses in Illinois sometimes wish to get an order of protection put in place before, during or after a divorce. An order of protection may be necessary when one spouse has committed acts of violence during the marriage. In other cases, an individual may wish to assert some legal boundaries after a divorce to prevent their ex-spouse from stalking or harassing.
An order of protection may be filed against any current or former family or household member including an ex-spouse. If the family or household member abused a minor child, any person may file an order of protection on the minor child's behalf. There are also some cases where a minor may file an order of protection without an adult's consent, although this may be difficult if the order is being filed against a parent or legal guardian. A resident or employee at a shelter where an abused spouse is living may also get an order of protection filed against the spouse's abuser.
When an order of protection is filed against a spouse or ex-spouse, the papers will be served by a law enforcement official. There is no fee for filing, amending, dismissing or certifying an order of protection.
A person who is in the position of wanting to get away from an abusive spouse might want to speak with a family law attorney about requesting an order of protection. This is especially important in situations where there has been a history of domestic violence and the couple has children. An attorney may also be able to advocate for the spouse's position during divorce proceedings so that they can achieve the most beneficial outcome.
Source: Women's Law, "Know the Laws", December 19, 2014