Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses cannot give specific reasons for getting divorced other than “irreconcilable differences.” Even ugly or distasteful behaviors such as infidelity and domestic violence will not give one spouse preferential treatment during divorce proceedings. That being said, judges are very sensitive to the physical and emotional danger that domestic violence can cause to spouses and children, and there are protections available to victims of domestic violence. If you are thinking about getting divorced from an abusive spouse, here are some ways you might expect your divorce to be different.
Getting an Order of Protection
When you are ready to file for divorce, it may be wise to get an order of protection. These are legally binding court orders that require an abuser to stay away from a victim and his or her children, including their schools and workplaces. You can get an Emergency Order of Protection ex parte, meaning your spouse does not have to be present during the initial hearing. However, to extend the order of protection, you will both need to appear before a judge to present your evidence. Your attorney can help you gather evidence and file for an order of protection.
Although judges are typically wary of giving parental responsibilities (custody) and parenting time (visitation) to only one parent, if one parent poses a clear danger of violence to children, a judge will not expose that child to such a risk for the sake of preserving the parent-child relationship. Instead, a judge may temporarily grant one parent full custody while giving the allegedly abusive parent supervised visitation. Other times, the abusive parent will get no custody at all.
While domestic violence per se will not affect the asset division process, other behaviors commonly associated with domestic violence may. For example, if your spouse has destroyed your property or shared marital property, he may be required to give you a larger share of the asset settlement. Likewise, if he spent significant marital funds on dating, drugs, or gambling, he may be found guilty of dissipation and lose that amount in the final settlement.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Lawyer
Divorces involving domestic violence require an extra level of care. If you are afraid your spouse may become abusive or violent during your divorce, call [[title]] to schedule a free limited consultation with our Cook County divorce attorney. We will work with you to protect your privacy and do our best to make sure you and your children have the protection you need as you move throughout the divorce process. Call us today at [[phone]].