Information for Legal Assistance
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) provides strong legal help for victims of domestic violence within an Order of Protection (OP). In Chicago an OP can be obtained at 555 W. Harrison as an independent proceeding or as part of a criminal case depending on what is most appropriate for you.
An Order of Protection can:
- Order your abuser to stop abusing, stalking, harassing you
- Give you the right to stay in the home without the abuser
- Order your abuser to stay away from you or your children’s school, work, etc.
- Order your abuser to surrender any firearm
- Order your abuser to not remove the children from your physical care and possession
- Order your abuser to not hide the children or take them out of Illinois
To receive such protections for your children, make sure to include their names as protected parties on the Petition and OP.
What if the abuser wants visitation with the children?
If your abuser is your child's biological or adopted parent, and parentage has been established, they have the right to visitation. It is very difficult to restrict a parent's visitation, but the visitation has to be safe for you and your children.
What if you are worried about your children during visitation?
Visitation can be supervised if the judge believes you or the children may be harmed during visits, or if child abduction is a threat. Visitation can be supervised by a friend or relative or supervised at a Supervised Visitation Center.
What is a Supervised Visitation Center (SVC)?
A SVC provides a safe setting where a non-custodial parent can visit with their children. Chicago has three SVCs that can be located by calling the Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line at 1-877-863-6338/1-877-TO-END-DV.
What if you don't want to see the abuser when you exchange the children?
The judge can order the visitation exchange to be done at a public place such as a restaurant or police station, or identify a relative to drop off and pick up the children. The visitation exchange could also be ordered to occur at a SVC. What if the abuser uses drugs or alcohol around the children? Ask the judge to protect the children by ordering supervised visitation.
What if the abuser uses drugs or alcohol around the children?
Ask the judge to protect the children by ordering supervised visitation.