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An emergency order of protection can blindside you

You and your spouse have been having trouble getting along, and you may believe the two of you will soon be appearing in Illinois divorce court. Expecting to be served divorce papers, it can be devastating to learn that instead of the divorce petition, your spouse has petitioned the court for an emergency order of protection. At Fawell & Fawell, we often help spouses who have been falsely accused of domestic violence.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, state statutes require your spouse to be interviewed by the court under oath in order for the petition for an emergency order of protection to be verified. You do not have to be told about the hearing, called an ex parte hearing, until after it is over. Your spouse's petition and examination before the court have to provide convincing information that the abuse occurred and that there are compelling reasons you should not be notified before the court issues the temporary order.

You do not get to present evidence to the contrary or dispute the allegations against you until the temporary protection order expires, and your spouse seeks a plenary order of protection. You are allowed at that hearing to present your case. However, your spouse could also apply for an extension of the temporary protection order.

If you find yourself accused of violence or threats of violence and banned from your home and your children by your spouse, you do have recourse through filing a motion to vacate the order. More information about Illinois protection orders is available on our webpage.

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