Domestic violence can happen in any relationship. However, those who aren't married to their abusers may be worried about what will happen if they try to end the relationship. Anyone in a romantic relationship that has turned abusive can seek protection through the Maryland court system. You do not have to be married, engaged or living together.
However, for unmarried couples there may be specific issues that need to be addressed. For example, these cases will not have the inherent property division process that comes when you are divorcing, and you may have questions about whether or not your ex is legally entitled to see your children before the courts have issues orders on custody, visitation or child support.
For anyone currently in an abusive relationship, the first step is always to seek out information and start building a network of experienced professionals who can help you navigate the legal system and establish your new life. While it is possible to final an initial request for a protective order on your own, a family law attorney can be invaluable resource when it comes to the final protection hearing.
At the Law Office of Steven J. Gaba, we understand that this is a stressful and very difficult time and even talking to someone about your options can seem like a huge step. We can discuss the particulars of your situation with you so you can better understand your rights, your options and what you should be prepared for as the case moves forward. We can also help you with other matters that may come up, such as how custody will be handled.