Last Updated: 05.06.2020

This Maryland Lawyer explained in a post earlier this week about the process surrounding the Peace/Protective Order in Maryland. In this follow-up post, this Maryland Lawyer wants to explain what NOT to use Protective/Peace orders for, and what you can do before Court to put your case in the best possible position.

Protective Orders are not for Child Custody

Often when a couple’s relationship is rocky, one party will use a Protective Order in an attempt to assume custody of their child or children. In my personal experience, this is the wrong way to address child custody issues. I want to be clear here if you have an exigent issue that includes child custody use the Protective Order. However, please do not use this avenue of relief if the attempt is simply to gain grounds in the looming custody battle. If you are having 99 problems, and child custody is one, then please consult a Family Law lawyer. Protective orders are merely a band-aid to a shotgun wound. Protective Orders are temporary orders lasting an absolute maximum of 2 years, and that’s after an extension granted by the Court. Whereas a Family Law attorney can advise you as to a long term solution regarding your child custody issues. A Family Law attorney can file a custody agreement that will be long-lasting. Moreover, District Court Judges do not enjoy conducting Protective Order hearings that mascaraed as child custody hearings. Plus, if one party does not respect the custody agreement, a Circuit Court Family Law Judge has many more remedies, including incarceration. The bottom line is spending your money wisely and hire a Family Law attorney to handle your family issue! It’s an investment, not an expense.

What Can I do before Court?

Whether you are party filing the petition for Protective/Peace Order, or the party being filed against, there are several steps you can take that will help you in Court.

  • Whether you are filing a petition, or served with a Protective/Peace Order, meet with a Maryland Lawyer as soon as possible. A Maryland Lawyer can help guide you through the process and take some of the pressure off of you.
  • Meet with a Maryland Lawyer as early in the process as possible, that way your Maryland Lawyer can adequately prepare for trial!
  • Gather any documentation regarding your case and bring it with you when you meet with your Maryland Lawyer. Useful documentation includes: medical records, phone records, voice mails, text messages, photographs, Facebook messages or screenshots…essentially anything that can help corroborate your side of the incident.
  • Bring all witness contact information with you when you meet with the attorney.

ENLawyers wants to remind you that in these hearings you are not required to have a Maryland lawyer, but you should. The Maryland Rules of Evidence apply, and the Judge that may decide your case requires that these rules be followed. A Maryland Lawyer from ENLawyers, will help you prepare for the hearing, gather the necessary evidence, and guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible.