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The grounds for a restraining order in Illinois

Previous posts here have discussed how an Illinois resident or someone else in the greater Chicago area who has been abused in some way may be able to get a restraining order from a court which prevents the abuser, even if he or she is a spouse or former spouse, from being around the victim and continuing to inflict abuse. Restraining orders can also be a valuable tool for ensuring the safety of children, especially since they can address important child custody questions.

However, a person cannot go and get a restraining order for any reason whatsoever, nor can a person expect one just because his or her spouse has been rude to them or cross. Instead, Illinois law sets out specific reasons why a person can get a restraining order, and the victim will be expected to show proof that at least one of these reasons applies to his or her case.

While the required proof does not have to rise to the same level as one might expect in a criminal case, it is still important for victims to be aware of what the judge will expect to hear before granting a restraining order. Thankfully, the reasons for granting a restraining order are at least somewhat broad.

Most obviously, a person can get a restraining order if he or she can show evidence of sexual or physical abuse, which can include simply reckless behavior, like angrily driving one's car in order to make a spouse or other person feel frightened.

However, someone need not be the victim of actual abuse in order to get a restraining order. If a person, for example, makes a scene at the victim's workplace or simply keeps trying to call or otherwise have unwanted contact with the victim, then the victim may be eligible for a restraining order. Likewise, serious or consistent threats to do something harmful or illegal can be grounds for a restraining order, even if one never carries these threats out.

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