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New Illinois Law Helps Domestic Violence Victims Keep Phone Numbers

Posted on in Order of Protection

Wheaton order of protection attorney domestic abuseWhen someone is the victim of domestic violence or domestic abuse, they can obtain an order of protection which provides them with safety. However, victims often struggle to achieve independence from their abusers, since their lives are closely linked both personally and financially. Illinois law was recently updated to address one issue that often arises in cases of domestic abuse: cell phone accounts.

Separating Cell Phone Plans

On January 1, 2018, a new Illinois law took effect that allows a person who obtains an order of protection to transfer their wireless telephone number to a new account. This allows victims to separate their cell phone service from a plan that was shared with their abuser, providing them with financial independence and ensuring that their abuser will not be able to access information such as text messages, voice mail, or location data. The law contains the following provisions:

  • A petitioner (the abuse victim who receives an order of protection) can transfer their phone number and the numbers of any minor children in their custody to a new plan, and they will assume financial responsibility for these plans.
  • The court will issue a court order to be served to the wireless phone service provider, and the provider shall transfer the phone number as requested and terminate the respondent’s (the person against whom the order of protection is being filed) access to the phone number.
  • After being served with a court order, a wireless service provider will have 72 hours to comply. If they are unable to do so because of network limitations or technological issues, they must notify the petitioner within that 72 hour time period.

When transferring numbers in this manner, a petitioner will not be penalized for breaking a cell phone contract, and they will be able to keep their phone number without fear that their abuser will be able to access information about them. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

One reason victims of domestic abuse continue to live in a bad situation is that their abusers maintain control over their lives, restricting their personal and financial independence. With this new law, victims have more options to obtain the protection and independence they need as they escape an abusive situation. If you are the victim of domestic violence or abuse, the compassionate, experienced attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you obtain an order of protection and ensure that you have the resources you need to keep yourself and your family safe. Contact our DuPage County family law firm today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/100/PDF/100-0388.pdf

http://wqad.com/2017/12/26/new-illinois-law-helps-domestic-violence-victims-separate-cell-phone-accounts-from-their-attackers/

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