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Help for people suffering domestic abuse

Photo of Karen Lavin

Family law in Illinois covers many subjects, mostly surrounding marriage and child care. Lawyers who are experienced in family law often help couples handle their assets during marriage or divorce and represent parents' interests during child custody disputes or arrangements.

Two of the types of family law that intersect with criminal law involve violence that can cause physical harm and mental distress. These are domestic violence and child abuse. Crimes of this nature often occur between people who know each other and live together, so specific means are necessary to prevent further problems.

Abusers, especially chronic abusers, punish victims when they control them through cohabitation and patterns of mental degradation. This usually happens in isolation, where other family members or friends cannot observe instances of abuse.

Protective orders are often helpful in breaking these patterns of abuse. Illinois courts and law enforcement agencies may prohibit people from contacting specific victims or approaching their homes and workplaces, which reduces the conditions in which a victim may be abused.

Legal requirements such as restraining orders may also keep people apart during difficult disputes such as child custody adjudications and hearings. This may also help people going through property disputes, especially those involving primary homes during a divorce.

Protective orders may be issued quickly in emergencies until a hearing can be held within weeks or months. The maximum length of an order in Illinois is two years, although these can be extended.

An attorney can help victims of abuse work with the courts and the police to establish a protective order. No one should have to go through abuse without someone looking out for his or her interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Family Law," accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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