Domestic Violence In Family Law And Divorce Proceedings
Domestic violence is a real and serious matter that affects countless men, women and children. The law empowers Illinois courts to issues orders of protection, enlisting the help of law enforcement officials to prevent future instances of violence or abuse against the petitioning victim. Violating an order of protection can trigger additional criminal penalties and civil remedies.
However, each year thousands of innocent people are falsely accused of domestic violence or harassment, often by a former spouse or partner who wishes to gain unfair leverage in a divorce or custody proceeding. These allegations can be devastating to your reputation, your parental rights and your relationship with your children if not thoroughly and correctly rebutted.
The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd., safeguards parents and children during domestic violence proceedings in the Chicago area courts and throughout Illinois. If you have been a victim of domestic violence or have been threatened with violence by your spouse or partner, we assist in obtaining protection orders and restraining orders. If you are accused of domestic abuse in the context of court proceedings, we will vigorously fight to prevent, rescind or modify such court orders.
“One of the worst trends in family law in recent years is spouses feeling justified in filing false abuse charges. The reasoning goes that these charges level the playing field, and the accusers intend to drop the charges as soon as their spouse agrees to a ‘fair’ settlement. Often, the spouse committing perjury has a distorted view of fairness.”
— Jeffery M. Leving, in Divorce Wars
Your Situation Is Never Hopeless
It is easy to feel helpless during a divorce or paternity proceeding, especially when your spouse or partner takes action or threatens action that would prejudice your rights. However, you are far from helpless when you have our experienced family law attorneys fighting alongside you and watching your back
In the context of domestic violence allegations, we can represent you in pursuing or defending:
- Orders of protection — The courts can issue an emergency order for protection on little more than the victim’s say-so, without the accused even in court to present a defense, especially if police are called to a domestic disturbance. The protection order usually involves removing the alleged abuser from the home, for the safety of the victim and any children in the household. In most cases, the subject of the order is ordered to have no contact — in person, by phone or email, or by third party — with the victim. The order may prevent accused parents from having contact with their own children, or it may allow only supervised visitation. Within a few weeks, there will likely be a hearing for a plenary order of protection (“permanent” order), which usually extends the temporary order for up to two years. Our lawyers have the skill to counter this drastic step to avoid a permanent protection order and modify the terms to at least allow for visitation with their children.
- Restraining orders — The court can also issue a temporary restraining order or injunction in domestic violence cases, or in any divorce or custody action. Restraining orders are not uncommon. The order may apply to property, preventing the spouse or partner from hiding assets or destroying marital property. It may apply to children, specifically preventing the co-parent from taking children out of the jurisdiction amidst custody proceedings. It may apply to the person, serving the same purpose as an order of protection from violence, threats or harassment.
- Violation of orders — If a court concludes that a protection order or restraining order was willfully violated, the judge may impose even harsher conditions. The violation can also result in jail time, which can be both distracting and destructive to the underlying family court proceeding. In many situations, the subject of the order is tricked or provoked into violating the terms of the order to destroy their reputation in the eyes of the family court and land them in jail.
We Are Protective Of Your Rights And The Truth
Our highly qualified attorneys practice in family law. We have seen firsthand how nasty and complicated some divorces and custody fights can get. We know the available remedies and we are prepared to use them for maximum effect on behalf of our clients. We will fight back against unwarranted, exaggerated and false claims of domestic violence, while also serving as a strong voice for you and your children when you are in danger from a spouse, partner or family member.