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How Do Protective Orders Affect Custody Arrangements?

Jan. 21, 2022

Paper cutouts of family next to a gavelIf someone has taken out a protective order against you, it’s a serious matter that can affect many aspects of your life. If you have children, you may want to know how a protective order could alter custody arrangements. In most situations, protective orders put in place due to domestic violence can have a major impact on child custody. Below, we’ve provided some information to guide you through this process.

For support regarding a protective order, the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC are here to offer you their knowledge and 29 years of experience to guide you to a positive outcome.

To learn more about protective orders in Maryland and what they might mean for you in regard to child custody, contact us today.

After a Hearing

After a final protective order has been put in place, it lasts for one year (but can be extended for two additional years) and may include the following terms for child custody arrangements:

  • An order for the abuser to support a child financially

  • An order for use of a vehicle to get a child to/from school or daycare centers

  • Details about visitation rights

Protective Orders on a Child’s Behalf

If a protective order is put in place to protect a child from violence, an abuser will not be given custody or unsupervised visitations unless there is no chance of the individual abusing the child in the future. However, even if a protective order is put in place to protect one parent from another, that can greatly impact the abuser’s future relationship with their child. A judge will always be much less likely to award an abuser custodial right.

Visitation Rights

If there is a protective order against you, your visitation rights could be impacted in the following ways:

  • A third-party individual may have to be present during a visitation to ensure the safety of the child

  • A child custody case could be hastened to protect the child and place them in a safer situation

  • Visitation rights may be banned entirely

If extreme violence is involved, parental rights may be eliminated. This can include chronic abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or torture.

Ultimately, a Judge Decides

Every Maryland judge will make a decision on a case-by-case basis. However, in most scenarios they will take any action possible to protect the child from further or potential harm. If a protective order has not yet been issued, you can provide evidence and testimony at temporary and final protective order hearings to prove your innocence. You can also hire a lawyer to help you navigate your case.

After a protective order is issued, you will have the opportunity to ask for an appeal. An appeal will then be sent to Maryland’s circuit court. If granted, a new trial will take place. On the other hand, if your appeal is denied it can be sent to the Court of Special Appeals. If the appeal is denied again or your protective order has already been enacted, it will affect your custody rights from that point on. What visitation rights you have will be determined by a judge depending on the severity of the case. If a child is able, they may also be asked for their opinion in regard to the case’s outcome. However, the child’s needs will be prioritized.

Do You Need Help with a Protective Order? Contact The Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Today

Do you believe you were falsely accused? Whether you are searching for an experienced lawyer to assist with your protective order, negotiating child support in Maryland or other issues, the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 324-3267.