parents with a child, child custodyOrders of protection may name children and other family members to safeguard them from physical harm or other abuse by a family member. When necessary to protect a child, courts may also grant temporary emergency custody to a petitioner to care for the minor until the full court hearing can determine future custody and parenting rights.

Types of Protective Orders

Illinois law provides the ability for a victim of domestic violence to secure an order of protection (OP). These orders prohibit the person named in the order from approaching or contacting the party requesting the protective order along with others such as children who may be at risk.

 The person who asks, or petitions, the court for the order is the petitioner. The person accused of domestic violence is the respondent.  There are two types of protective orders.

Immediate Care and Protection of Children

When a petitioner has been the victim of violence or has reason to believe that a family member will commit violence or abuse, they may ask the court for an emergency order of protection. The respondent does not have to be present for the emergency order to be issued, temporary custody may be granted to the petitioner to safeguard the children.

Longterm Child Care, Protection, and Custody

Before the final determination is made regarding whether the terms of an emergency order of protection become part of a divorce settlement or assignment of custody and parental rights, the court will allow the petitioner and respondent to be heard. During this hearing, the court will weigh the evidence and determine if the respondent:

  • Is likely to abuse or harm a child
  • Will remove or conceal children from the petitioner
  • Deprive children of proper care or expose them to lifestyles that may be harmful
  • Will be a danger to the petitioner or children during parenting time.

In all cases, Illinois law requires the court to act in the best interests of the child. If the order of protection is required to safeguard a child,  the court will include it as part of the final divorce or separation settlement.

Child Safety is Paramount

The object of orders of protection is to safeguard those at risk from domestic violence. Because children are the most vulnerable, their safety is paramount in any order of protection.