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How Sexual Assault Charges Affect Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

How Sexual Assault Charges Affect DivorceSexual assault and rape can exist in the context of a marriage or other relationship. Marriage does not entitle your spouse to have sex with you against your will. Unfortunately, some people do not protect themselves because they do not know it is a crime or they are afraid to lose their marriage. If your spouse is sexually abusing you, you have the right to request an order of protection against your spouse. You should also consider whether you want to divorce your spouse and how your sexual assault allegations may affect the divorce.

Order of Protection

Before you start the divorce process, your first priority is to protect yourself from continued sexual assault and possible retaliation from announcing your decision to divorce. Some victims leave their spouses and find refuge with a family member, friend, or women’s shelter. However, you have the right to force your spouse to leave by filing for an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. The first step is to request an emergency order of protection from the court, which will immediately restrict your spouse from contacting you or your children. The emergency order can last as long as 21 days and can be extended with an interim order of protection. Eventually, the court will hold a hearing to judge the validity of your allegations and determine whether to grant a more permanent order of protection.


You can start planning for your divorce after you have received your emergency order of protection. Because Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, your allegations of sexual assault have no bearing on whether the court will grant your petition to divorce. Your divorce will be approved as long as your spouse is served notice of your petition to divorce and you claim irreconcilable differences. Once the divorce process has started, pending or proven sexual assault charges can affect how your divorce agreement is settled:

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

You should not feel trapped in an abusive marriage because you are unsure whether you can support yourself or your children on your own. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., will show you how a divorce settlement can protect your financial security. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.


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