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Protective and peace orders in Maryland

Domestic violence is a real problem in Maryland. Victims are able to seek protection from their abusers through the courts by either requesting protective orders or peace orders. The type of order that a person seeks depends on his or her relationship with the alleged abuser and what type of abuse allegedly occurred.

People should file for protective orders if they and their abusers are current or former spouses, have lived together for at least 90 days in the past year while in an intimate relationship, are related, are in a relationship as parent and child or step-parent and child and have lived together for at least 90 days in the past year, have had a sexual relationship within one year of the date of filing or are the parents of a shared child. People who have relationships other than these with their abusers should file a request for peace orders.

With both types of orders, the judge may order the abuser to stay away from the victim's home, place of work and school. The judge may also order that the person not attempt any contact and that he or she get counseling. If there is a child, the judge may also enter temporary orders of custody.

Domestic assault can be deadly, and it is important for people who are being abused to try to get help. Abuse victims might want to talk to family law attorneys about seeking protective or peace orders. An attorney may help his or her client with drafting and filing the petition as well as obtaining proper service of process. Once a temporary order has been obtained, counsel can then seek to have it made permanent.

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