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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Cook County divorce lawyer for online harassment

A divorce can occur for many reasons, and domestic violence is one of the most serious issues that may lead to the end of a marriage. This type of abuse can take many forms, including harassment, stalking, and electronic monitoring. Stalking is often thought of as the act of physically following someone, and it is not uncommon for an abusive spouse to continue to stalk his or her partner even if one party has moved out of the marital home they once shared together. In today’s online world, a person can also stalk or harass someone electronically via computers or phones. Electronic monitoring refers to videotaping or tracking an individual’s movements without consent by placing video cameras or audio recording devices in his or her home. Fortunately, there are actions victims of this kind of harassment can take to protect themselves and punish their stalkers. 

Stalking Defined 

Stalking is often defined as the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person with the intent of causing anxiety, fear, or harm to that individual. It is important to note that a person can be charged with stalking someone if he or she remains outside of that individual’s home for more than 10 minutes at a time or for more than 30 minutes total in a 24-hour timeframe for a minimum of five times.

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Oak Park divorce attorney mental illness

Going through a divorce can be hard on everyone involved, especially if one spouse did not see it coming or does not want to separate. In many cases, one spouse has made the decision to divorce in order to get out of an unhealthy relationship, whether it be due to abuse, addiction, infidelity, or other reasons. Unfortunately, there are cases in which one spouse may try to intimidate the other spouse into staying in the marriage. This can include harassment or stalking, either in person or by electronic means. If these actions make a person feel unsafe or uncomfortable, he or she has legal rights and options to stop this threatening behavior and finalize the divorce as smoothly and as quickly as possible. 

Illinois Harassment and Stalking Laws 

Harassment is defined under Illinois law as conduct which is not necessary to accomplish a purpose that is reasonable under the circumstances, but that causes a reasonable person emotional distress. Harassment can include making an obscene or indecent comment or request with the intent to offend, threaten, or annoy another person. Harassment is a criminal offense, and a first conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor, and it can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. The second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible one-year jail term and a fine up to $2,500. Stalking occurs when someone watches or follows the victim on at least two occasions, and this causes the victim to feel that his or her safety is somehow at risk. Stalking is considered a Class 4 felony in Illinois, punishable by up to three years in a state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.Aggravated stalking results in bodily harm to the victim and is a Class 3 felony. Aggravated stalking may also include restraining or confining the victim or violating a protective order or injunction. Aggravated stalking can be punished by up to five years in a state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.While harassment and stalking are commonly thought of as unwanted contact in person, it is important to realize they can also occur electronically through phone calls, text messages, mail, email, or social media sites. 

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Oak Park order of protection lawyer

A divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, especially if abuse is one of the reasons for the end of the marriage. Orders of Protection (also known as restraining orders) can be common in some high-conflict divorce proceedings. This type of court order can prohibit the abuser from physical abuse, stalking, or contacting the victim for a specified length of time. An Order of Protection also creates a criminal record for the abuser and prohibits him or her from lawfully owning a firearm, even for work. Since there are different types of Orders of Protection, it is important to understand the ramifications of each. If you have been served with an Order of Protection, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal options.  

Types of Orders of Protection

There are three types of Orders of Protection in Illinois: Emergency (14 - 21 days), Interim (30 days), and Plenary (2 years). Under Illinois law, someone can only take out an Order of Protection against a family or household member, not a stranger or acquaintance. The “Petitioner" is the named victim of abuse on whose behalf the petition is brought. The “Respondent” is the person whom the order is brought against.

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Skokie order of protection lawyerFor those who have faced the unfortunate circumstances of being abused or neglected by family members, leaving a dangerous situation can sometimes be almost as frightening as staying. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, or if you are living in fear that you or your children may be harmed by a family member, a family law attorney can help you obtain an order of protection. 

Qualifying for an Order of Protection

According to the Illinois State Police, you may be granted an order of protection against any of the following:

  • A spouse or ex-spouse
  • Parents, children, or stepchildren
  • Someone with whom you formerly lived
  • Someone you dated or to whom you were engaged
  • Your children’s co-parent 
  • Personal assistants to people with disabilities

Types of abuse that an order of protection may address include:

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