Can You Get Into Trouble for Domestic Battery With an Ex-Spouse

If you’re like many people, you don’t have the best relationship with your ex-spouse – but do ex-spouses count when it comes to domestic battery charges in Illinois? This guide explains. 

Can You Get Into Trouble for Domestic Battery With an Ex-Spouse?

Illinois law is very clear: Domestic battery occurs when a person “knowingly and without legal justification by any means 1) causes bodily harm to any family or household member; 2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.” That’s specific enough – but is your ex-spouse considered a family member?

Under Illinois law, yes. Your ex-spouse is considered a family member. Here’s the complete list of who counts:

  • Spouses and ex-spouses
  • Blood-related family members
  • Co-parents
  • Current and former roommates
  • Elderly adults and caregivers
  • Disabled adults and caregivers
  • Individuals who are related by blood through a child
  • Parents and children and stepparents and children

Even if you and the alleged victim weren’t married but you share a child, the relationship is enough to qualify as a family member or household member (under “co-parents”).

Related: Will you go to jail for fighting with your girlfriend?

What Happens if You’re Convicted of Domestic Battery With Your Ex-Spouse?

If it’s your first domestic battery offense and you haven’t met any circumstances outlined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, you’re likely facing a Class A misdemeanor for domestic battery. You could go to jail for up to a year, and the judge in your case may sentence you to pay up to $2,500 in fines. 

If you have prior domestic battery convictions, if you meet a circumstance in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, or if you’re charged with and convicted of aggravated domestic battery, your penalties will be more severe. You could go to prison for several years and pay higher fines, depending on which class of felony your offense is.

Related: Can domestic battery be a Class 2 felony in Illinois?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?

If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.

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