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How do protective orders help victims of domestic violence?

While no relationship is perfect, sometimes a person's safety is placed in jeopardy by a spouse, romantic partner or relative. When this happens, a person in Maryland might want to seek a protective order. A protective order is a civil order of the court that prevents one individual from doing certain things against the individual seeking the order. There are temporary protective orders and final protective orders. These orders are meant to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence.

A temporary protective order can prevent the abuser from harming the victim. It can mandate that the abuser stay away and not contact or harass the victim at the victim's home, workplace, the victim's child's school and the homes of the victim's relatives. Under certain circumstances, a temporary protective order can mandate that the abuser leave the residence he or she may share with the victim. A temporary protective order can also give the victim temporary custody of any children or pets he or she has with the abuser.

A final protective order can provide victims with the same protections they would have under a temporary protective order. A final protective order can also establish temporary visitation with any children the parties may have together, as well as award emergency family maintenance and possession of jointly held motor vehicles. A final protective order can mandate the abuser obtain counseling. A final protective order can mandate that the abuser surrender any guns he or she may have. The abuser may be ordered to pay court costs associated with the final protective order. Finally, a judge has the discretion in a final protective order to provide any other forms of relief that may be necessary to keep the victim safe from abuse.

Domestic violence is a serious issue, and the safety of victims and their children is of paramount importance. It can be difficult for victims of abuse to seek the help they need to stay safe. However, a protective order can provide the victim of abuse with the space and security they need to move on from an abusive relationship in a safe manner.

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