Need Protection? Contact O. Long Law.
On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partner in the U. S.
Sometimes domestic violence is the reason marriages end. Other times, unwanted contact or abuse begins during divorce proceedings. It doesn’t matter – stalking, harassment, and domestic violence is unacceptable and illegal. O. Long Law helps protect clients and their children in Evanston, across the North Shore, and all over Chicago.
Our women-led team reacts quickly to seek an Illinois order of protection, sometimes called a restraining order, against abusive spouses or partners. Let us explain your options and help protect you and your children from domestic violence and other forms of abuse.
O. Long Law Helps
- File for Emergency and/or Plenary Orders of Protection
- Restrict abusers’ parenting time
- Fairly & Safely Divide Marital Assets, Property & Debts
- Pursue Sole Legal & Physical Custody
- Strategize for Long-Term Financial Stability
Order of Protection Against Alcohol-Abusing Ex
We obtained an order of protection and exclusive possession of the marital residence for our client in response to their former spouse’s alcohol abuse.
Court Order Preventing Family Interference
After significant harassment and inappropriate behavior, we secured a two-year protection that kept extended family from interfering with the parents’ decisions regarding their children.
Protection Order Issued Despite Claims Against Our Client
Our attorneys refuted false claims and ultimately protected a woman even though her abuser obtained a criminal order of protection by stating she was the abusive one.
Why Our Firm?
O. Long Law recognizes the need for unrelenting advocacy for someone dealing with violence, threats, or stalking. We don’t tolerate it, and neither should you.
Clients Benefit From
- Tough-as-nails lawyers who shut down bullies with the law.
- Meticulous financial assessment so that you get what’s right.
- A team approach so you’re not isolated or alone.
- Years of experience with both civil and criminal orders of protection.
- Extensive courtroom experience in protection order hearings.
- Honest advice and clear communication to keep you informed.
O. Long Law empowers clients to start a new life without worrying about their safety
Meet Your Family's Team
Illinois Orders of Protection: Laws & What to Consider
The Long & Short of It…
An Illinois order of protection is a court order designed to protect individuals and families from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Both men and women seek orders of protection from their abusers. Various behaviors and actions may warrant a protection order, which legally restricts or denies the defendant from contacting you or others designated as protected parties in the order. Individuals who violate the terms of a protection court order risk criminal charges and jail.
Domestic Violence, Abuse & Stalking
- Domestic violence is physical, sexual, and emotional abuse against a family member by another family or household member.
- Domestic abuse includes neglect (withholding food, water, or medication) and harassment, controlling contact and communication with the world, and forcing others to watch the abuse.
- Stalking refers to a pattern of behavior when someone watches, follows, or tracks a person and causes them to feel unsafe or at risk.
Family & Household Members
Spouses, partners, family members, and other household members have the right to seek legal protection from domestic violence.
Under Illinois law, family and household members are:
- Blood relatives (siblings, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins)
- Married or formerly married couples (including same-sex couples)
- Individuals who share or used to share a home, apartment, or dwelling
- Individuals who are dating used to date or are engaged (including same-sex couples)
- People with disabilities and their caregivers
Orders of Protection in Illinois
Under Illinois law, you can seek the following types of protection orders:
- Domestic Violence Order of Protection: A judge prohibits further abuse under penalty of law.
- Civil No Contact Order: Issued to victims of nonconsensual sexual conduct; applies to family and household members and rape crisis center staff.
- Stalking No Contact Order: Court-issued legal protection against stalking when the above protective orders do not provide relief.
Filing for a Restraining Order
There are several ways to seek an order of protection:
- Ask an attorney to file an independent order of protection in civil court.
- Request an order during a criminal trial for abuse.
- Request an order along with your divorce.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders
Our order of protection attorneys act swiftly to protect you and your family by filing the appropriate protective orders.
- Emergency Order of Protection: Emergency orders of protection last 14-21 days and can be converted into a plenary order of protection after a hearing.
- Interim Order: If an emergency order expires before you can schedule a hearing for an extension, the court can issue an interim or temporary order. This temporary order bridges the gap to ensure consistent legal protection for you and your children.
- Plenary Order: A judge may issue a plenary order for long-term protection after hearing evidence from both parties. Plenary orders last, at most, two years.
Restraining Order Protections
With an order of protection, the court can direct the named individual to:
- Stay away from the petitioner’s property, workplace, pets, and children
- Vacate a shared residence
- Surrender custody (and parenting time) of children to the care of the other parent
- Provide financial support
- Make no contact with the petitioner in-person, by phone, text, email, or digital messages
- Surrender firearms and their FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) card
- Undergo evaluation and counseling
- Obey all injunctive relief deemed necessary to protect the victim
Penalties for Violating Orders of Protection
Under Illinois law, the first violation of an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine.
Additional violations are a Class 4 felony, with a max prison sentence of three years and fines.
Orders of Protection Timeline
Time is of the essence, but the time it takes to secure a protection order can vary based on your circumstance. An emergency protection order can be issued as soon as you (or your attorney) files a petition. A police officer will then serve the named party.
The court schedules a subsequent hearing to determine whether the restraining order stays in place or terminates. Both parties have the chance to make their case, and the judge will rule to either extend or remove the protective order.
Cost for Filing an Order of Protection
There are no court fees for filing an order of protection in the Evanston, North Shore, and Chicago areas. While you aren’t required to have a lawyer file for you, we recommend that you let an attorney help you. At O. Long Law, we can pursue compensation for related legal fees down the line.
Order of Protection FAQ
We don't take risks or waste time with your safety.
What Happens After an Emergency Order of Protection is Granted?
Illinois law requires that the person named in the order of protection is personally served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and the temporary injunction. However, judges frequently issue emergency orders "ex parte" or before the named party receives the notice.
A judge will usually schedule a hearing on your order of protection within 21 days. You must attend this hearing, or the court will likely dismiss your restraining order case. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant a longer restraining order called a plenary order of protection for up to two years.
Will Filing a Restraining Order Make My Divorce Worse?
We've seen too many tragic cases where a victim is reluctant to seek a restraining order. They may feel that taking action against an abuser harms their chances of a fair settlement or child custody. Many domestic violence survivors fear retaliation.
Domestic violence is a crime. You have the right to protect yourself and your children. You also have the right to file for divorce. You cannot begin a new life when you are injured or lose your life to domestic violence.
What if the Other Party Violates the Order?
If your abuser violates your order of protection before being served with it, the violation is not a crime. Often, the police can ensure the violator is served if they come to the scene. If your abuser violates your order of protection after being served, that is a crime. You can call the police and tell them you want to press charges for violating an order of protection.
What if I'm Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?
Occasionally, an unscrupulous individual falsely accuses their spouse or partner of domestic abuse to gain an advantage in a divorce or child custody battle. It happens to men and women, and if this happens to you, contact an attorney right away. Even an allegation of domestic violence can impact your parental rights, right to remain in the family home, and other key issues.
Does an Order of Protection Include My Kids?
Yes, if you choose, an order of protection can include minor children. A parent accused of domestic violence and named in a protection order cannot retain or share custody, including visitation. Often, though, a court will require parents to create a parenting plan that allows both to maintain contact with the children unless the parent abused the children themselves. A no-contact injunction can include your kids. This means that the abuser cannot contact your children directly or try to contact them through a third party (such as a grandparent).
Where Do You Practice & How Do I Reach You?
We handle protection orders in Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties. We are based in Evanston, on Chicago's North Shore, which includes the communities of Northbrook, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka.
We'll schedule a quick 30-minute call to set up a consultation. One of our lawyers will review your situation, go over what's important to you, and offer some advice.
Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm, and currently, we're holding meetings via telephone or Zoom.
If you are in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1. Get yourself and your kids to a safe place, and then call O. Long Law.