If your spouse or another member of your household has demonstrated or threatened violence, you should be aware of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (“IDVA”). Living with domestic violence, or the threat of domestic violence,is a dangerous situation and the law provides protection. Perpetrators of domestic violence regularly harm or kill pets. The law allows Illinois courts to order an abuser to stay away from a pet. If you are being harassed, threatened or abused, speak with an attorney aboutobtaining anorder of protection. Without protections in place, domestic violence can turn deadly. If necessary, a court may provide you with exclusive possession of the residence,sole custody of children, exclusive care and control of the pets and order your abuser to stay away. If the abuser violates the order, he or she may be arrested and prosecuted in criminal court. If you have questions about obtaining relief under the IDVA, call me — Chicago divorce lawyer Tanya Witt at (312) 948-9884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The above blog post does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney.