There is no question whatsoever that domestic violence and domestic abuse are real, attention-worthy problems in today’s society. Anyone who claims differently is either lying or oblivious to the truth. The existence of a social problem, of course, does not mean that domestic violence occurs in every household and family. It does, however, mean that when allegations are levied against an individual, they are often taken more seriously than claims of innocence by the accused. The potential for harm is even greater when formal action is taken in the form of an order of protection, as domestic abuse may be grounds for limiting parenting rights and other personal freedoms.
The unfortunate reality is that it can be very tempting for many people—especially those still feeling angry or betrayed after a divorce or breakup—to request an order of protection out of spite. In some cases, there may even be intent to manipulate child custody (now called parental responsibilities) proceedings. Thus, it is important to take decisive action when you are the subject of an order of protection and to fight hard to clear your name.
Always Remain Compliant
Illinois law permits an alleged victim to request an emergency order of protection against you without notice to you. Based on his or her testimony alone, the order can be issued by a judge and may remain in effect for up to 21 days. An emergency order, when used appropriately, is intended to protect victims until a hearing can be held for a more permanent solution. If an emergency order of protection has been issued against you, you will be served with notice of the order’s issuance and instructions on appearing before the court.
No matter how angry or offended you may feel at being falsely accused of domestic abuse, it is crucial to be compliant with the terms of the order. If the order prohibits you from contacting your former partner or your children, as painful as it may be, do not contact them. Violating an order of protection is very serious, and could result in criminal charges against you in addition to its potential impact on your family court case.
Be Prepared for Your Hearing
Before an emergency order of protection can be extended, you will have the opportunity to appear before the court to make your case. With the help of an attorney, you can demonstrate to the court that allegations against you are exaggerated or explicitly false. You should be able to obtain a redacted copy of the alleged victim’s affidavit that provided the basis for the emergency order of protection. In a calm, professional manner, you can address each accusation made against you, and provide affidavits from other witnesses as to your behavior and credibility and, if applicable, that of the alleged victim.
The importance of qualified legal counsel cannot be underestimated when you are facing false allegations of domestic violence. If you have received notice of an emergency order of protection against you, contact an experienced Orland Park family law attorney right away. We will act quickly in taking the steps necessary to protect your rights and secure your future. Call 708-518-8200 today for a free confidential consultation.