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What to Do If Your Ex is Putting Your Child at Risk 

Lebovitz Law LLC Nov. 1, 2022

Sad and unhappy young girl sitting on the floorEvery parent knows the most important thing in the world is the safety and well-being of their children. This is true no matter what family structure you have, but it can be made more difficult if you currently share child custody with a co-parent whom you fear may be putting your child at risk. If you believe you have a child endangerment issue and would like to speak with a family law attorney about your options, call Lebovitz Law LLC in Towson, Maryland. Lebovitz Law is proud to help individuals and families in Baltimore County and throughout the state as well as York, Pennsylvania. 

Circumstances That May Put Your Child at Risk  

There are several different circumstances that may put your child at risk. These situations can be difficult to address on your own, especially if you already have a court-mandated child custody and visitation schedule in place. These circumstances could include actual threats or evidence of physical abuse, but it can also include negligence or exposing the child to unsafe circumstances, people, or substance abuse in the home. In some cases, this may mean that you believe an ex-spouse is driving drunk with the child in the car, or that they have firearms in the house that aren’t properly locked away. In other cases, it may be a case of negligence that the parent isn’t fully aware of yet still puts the child at risk. Any child at risk by ex-spouses or partners needs to be protected in accordance with the law.  

Modifying a Child Custody Agreement in Maryland  

Any time you’re seeking a child custody modification, it’s a good idea to work directly with a child custody lawyer instead of attempting to make the changes yourself. In some cases, if you and your ex-spouse agree on new custody terms, you can have these written up by a lawyer and submitted to the courts for approval. In cases where you suspect harm or even domestic abuse, you should always contact a lawyer first. Do not try to handle this on your own or you may end up inadvertently jeopardizing your own parental rights by violating a court order. 

In the event that you have to remove your child immediately from the home of the other parent because there is a clear and present danger, you must file a petition with the courts within 96 hours of violating the custody agreement to avoid any unintended penalties. This is not a long time, making it all the more necessary to contact an experienced attorney right away if you believe your child is in danger. 

Filing for a Restraining Order  

There are special circumstances, notably in the case of abuse or violence, when you’re able to file for a temporary protective order (restraining order) against an ex-spouse or co-parent who is endangering your child. These temporary orders can last anywhere from a few days to an entire year and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. You can file a petition for an interim protective order by yourself, but this process can be easier and faster if an attorney is helping you. You’ll have to provide evidence of the abuse or suspected abuse, which could include photographs, police reports, witness testimony, or medical records. If the interim order is granted, you will still have to apply for a temporary restraining order within the next few days.    

Turn to Lebovitz Law LLC for Help  

There’s nothing more important than your children. Lebovitz Law LLC in Towson, Maryland is ready to advocate on your behalf and on behalf of your loved ones. If you have any concerns about the safety of your children when they’re with your ex-partner, reach out immediately to start talking about your options.