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Understanding the Risk of Escalation When Divorcing an Abusive Spouse

Posted on in Domestic Violence

palatine divorce lawyerWomen and men of every race, age, and income level can become victims of domestic violence. While many stay silent about the abuse, physical, mental, and sexual abuse is not uncommon in Illinois and across the United States. Studies show that approximately 42 percent of women and 26 percent of men in Illinois have experienced intimate partner violence at least once in their lives. If you are in an abusive marriage and you want to divorce, you need to prepare for the possibility of escalation.

What is Escalation?

The National Domestic Hotline describes escalation as the sudden or gradual worsening of the abuse. Many abusive people derive a sense of power and control by harming their victims. When the victim takes steps to stand up for themselves or leave the abuser, the abuser may fear losing this power and control. They may escalate their behavior. For example, a husband who has typically used insults and threats to control his wife may begin physically abusing her when she takes steps to leave him. Approximately 75 percent of domestic violence resulting in serious injuries occurs when the victim tries to leave the abuser.

How Can an Order of Protection Help Me?

If you want to leave your abusive marriage for good, you need to have a safety plan in place. One crucial component of this plan should be legal protection against further abuse. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is often available on the same day that it is requested. You do not have to tell your spouse that you sought the protection order. Also, “abuse” includes not only physical violence but also harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, and threats according to Illinois law. You do not have to wait until your spouse’s behavior escalates to physical abuse before seeking protection.

An EOP can be customized based on your particular needs, but many EOPs prohibit the subject of the order from contacting the victim, coming to the victim’s home or workplace, or contacting the victim’s children.

If your spouse violates any of the terms of the EOP, call the police immediately. Your spouse will be subject to immediate arrest and possible incarceration. A protection order not only protects you from further abuse, it also acts as an important piece of evidence in your divorce case.

Emergency Order of Protection only last up to 10 days, however, you can attend a hearing and get a protection order called a Plenary Order of Protection that lasts up to two years. Your lawyer can attend the hearing with you and advocate on your behalf.

Contact a Barrington Order of Protection Lawyer

If you want to divorce an abusive spouse, contact Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson for help. Call 847.873.6741 for a free, completely confidential consultation.


Introducing The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson

Nicholas W. Richardson is an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator whose comprehensive legal knowledge, commitment to clients and reputation for results bring lasting solutions to your problems.

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