Previous posts here have discussed how a Lake County resident, or anyone in the greater Chicago area, who has been the victim of domestic violence can get help by going to court and getting a restraining order. If granted, a restraining order will require the perpetrator to stay away from the victim and, if it is violated, gives police the power to make an arrest, even if no further domestic violence actually occurs.
However, restraining orders in Illinois can do a lot more for a victim than simply offering an extra layer of protection. For instance, the order can grant child custody on a temporary basis and can, on a related point, establish some ground rules for visitation, assuming that the court allows visitation at all and that the perpetrator wants visits. A victim can also get child support set up through a protective order and can even get an order requiring someone to go to counseling.
The good news is that restraining orders in Illinois can do a lot to ensure the safety of one’s own children, even if the children were not themselves the immediate victims of the perpetrator’s abuse. Moreover, in addition to setting up ground rules a perpetrator must observe, a retraining order gives the police power to file criminal charge in certain situations when the perpetrator violates the order. The court which issued the order can also hold a violator in contempt of court and impose jail time or fines.
However, although the process of getting a protective order is designed to be simple, there are many situations in which obtaining one can be complicated, as the perpetrator will be given a right to tell his side of the story and this means there will be a hearing before a judge. The process can be a little bit scary for victims because it requires someone to go through and recount an abusive situation. Having the right help can make a difference.