If someone has accused you of domestic violence, he or she may also file an order of protection against you. Following these orders carefully can support your defense and help you avoid further legal sanctions.
Take these steps if you receive notification of an order of protection against you in Illinois.
Understand prohibited actions
Read the order of protection carefully and do not violate its terms. Depending on the circumstances, this legal order may prohibit you from:
- Threatening, harassing or intimidating the person who requested the order
- Remaining in the home you share or staying in the home if you are not sober
- Approaching or contacting the person who filed the order
- Visiting him or her at work, home or school
- Keeping the requestor from seeing a child you share
- Accessing your child’s medical or school records
Take required steps
The order of protection may also require you to do certain things. You may have to attend counseling or appear in court. The judge may require you to surrender any weapons you own.
It may also specify your visitation rights if you have children with the accuser. You may have to take action to preserve these rights.
While a domestic violence accusation does not automatically affect child custody and visitation permanently, the judge may award temporary physical and/or legal custody to the accuser. As a result, you may have to pay child support while the court settles your case.
You have the right to defend yourself from accusations of domestic violence. After the order of protection takes effect, the court will schedule a hearing where you can present your case.