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(773) 908-9811

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(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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IL Domestic Violence: How It Impacts Divorce

It’s not uncommon for a marriage to end in divorce. In most cases that move through the divorce courts of Illinois, the court encourages people to work together to come to agreements on a divorce decree. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the next best route it to settle the divorce in court.

When domestic violence is thrown into the divorce mix, it can make things a whole lot more complicated. That’s because, in cases where domestic violence is present, the court must step in to complete the divorce proceedings.

Here is how domestic violence can have a negative impact on your Illinois divorce proceedings.

Domestic Violence: What Is It?

Every state has its own laws pertaining to domestic violence, how it is prosecuted, and how it can impact legal proceedings like divorce.

In Illinois, the Domestic Violence Act of 1986 defines domestic violence as “an act of abuse that is perpetrated against a member of the family or household.” The abuse can be physical, but, under Illinois law, it can also extend to acts of harassment, intimidation, willful deprivation, or interference with the personal liberty of another.

It’s also important to note that the state of Illinois recognizes that domestic violence doesn’t simply occur between people who are married or involved in a romantic relationship, although that is the biggest focus when discussing divorce and domestic violence.

Under state law, domestic violence can also be perpetrated against parents, children, those with whom you’ve shared a home, and those with whom you share a child.

Illinois Orders of Protection

If domestic violence is present in a marriage, then the victim can seek what is called an “order of protection” in Illinois. This order of protection prohibits the person named as the abuser from:

  • Cohabitating if the home is shared
  • Contacting the victim
  • Having contact with minor children

These orders often present a major roadblock for divorce proceedings if one is issued against one spouse, because it limits contact. This makes it more difficult for the proceedings to occur.

As you can see, if you are subject to an Illinois order of protection, then you need to discuss it with your divorce attorney as soon as possible.

How Can Domestic Violence Impact Divorce?

Aside from complications that occur due to orders of protection, there are other ways that domestic violence can impact a divorce. The two biggest are parenting time and parental responsibilities.

The courts in Illinois will work under the framework of what is best for the children involved in the divorce. This can translate to restrictions on a parent’s access to the children if they are accused or convicted of domestic violence in the marriage. In extreme cases of long-term and pervasive abuse, a court can terminate the parental rights of the parent who is seen as abusive.

Chicago Domestic Violence Attorney

This is yet another reason why an experienced attorney is essential in a domestic violence case — not just your divorce case. A conviction for domestic violence in the state can have a far-reaching impact on your future, including how much parenting time and contact you have with your own children.

If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, know your rights and fight back with the help of a skilled attorney.


About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.



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