Domestic violence is what no family would ever want to experience in their home but it does happen sometimes which is due to some reasons and can happen to anyone irrespective of the state they reside. Maryland law describes domestic violence as an abuse/violence that occurs in a family home. Such abuse can be, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, whcih is an act that result in serious harm or threat of harm to the body, no freedom and many more.
What next to do if there is domestic violence
If someone in your household be it you, your child, your parent or other family member has experienced domestic violence before or presently and you are terrified of the violence, you should obtain what is called “Protective Order.” A protective order is an order a judge issues to hold back someone from doing domestic violence against another person.
Who can get a protective order?
In order to get a protective order, you have to check if you are eligible. You can be eligible for a protective order if your minor child or you have been the prey of abuse by following:
your former or present spouse somebody you had a sexual relationship with and stayed with for at least Ninety days during the one-year period before you went (filed) for the protective order (recognized as a cohabitant)
somebody with whom you had a sexual relationship within one year (12 months) prior to the filing of the petition
somebody connected to you by marriage, blood, or adoption
somebody with whom you have a child in common
Note that a parent, step-parent, child or step-child of you or the abuser can file for an order if he/she lived with the abuser presently or used to live with the abuser for at least 90 days during the one year period before you filed(going) for the protective order.
You might also be eligible to file if you are a vulnerable adult, which is an adult who lacks the mental or physical capability to provide his/her every day needs.
Types of protective order
- Interim protective orders
- Temporary protective orders
- Final protective orders
The impact of domestic violence on custody decision
At the commencement of all custody case, both parents have to inform the court of any court actions concerning domestic violence, protective orders, or termination of parental rights of another child. The law court won’t grant custody until it receives information about these other proceedings/actions.
If each parent claims that the other parent has done domestic violence, the court must decide whether abuse has happened before granting custody.
If the court discovers that a parent has done domestic violence, the court won’t grant that parent custody except there is no possibility of the parent committing future abuse. The court can grant supervised visitation if the judge believes that it will ensure the security of the child.
Applying for protective order
You can apply for a protective order by visiting your district court in Maryland and requesting for a petition for protective Order form.