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April 09, 2021

Child Custody and Domestic Violence

Posted in Uncategorized

Child Custody and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence lawyer Rockville, MD

As a parent, your top priority is always the health and safety of your kids. When you are in a situation involving domestic violence, you may be concerned about maintaining custody when you decide to separate or divorce. Taking the first steps to remove yourself and your children from a violent relationship can seem daunting. A Domestic Violence Lawyer Rockville, MD can help you understand the situation better. In the meantime, the following are some things to keep in mind when you’re ready to take that final step and safely transition you and your kids. 

Keep Detailed Records

While you are still living with your spouse or partner it is important to record every incident of abuse whether physical or emotional especially if it involves your kids. Record the date and time, the place where it happened, and a detailed description of the incident and any injuries to you or your kids as a result. It is imperative to keep track of each occurrence as this will greatly help you if you have to appear in court before a judge.  

Create an Exit Strategy

Creating a plan to stay safe is another important step. Once you decide to leave, try to plan it out as best you can. Having a safety net in place is a good idea because you are in the most danger when you actually leave the marriage or relationship. Pack a bag with some clothes for you and your kids, save up some cash, and store it somewhere outside your home or with a friend you trust. Arrange for somewhere safe to stay once you leave your house, preferably a place where your spouse or partner wouldn’t think to look for you. It must be somewhere unexpected like a coworker or friend that your partner doesn’t know, not your best friend or parent’s house where they may immediately check. A shelter or hotel would also be a good short-term option. 

Get Legal Custody

You may have to leave suddenly with your kids in order to escape a violent situation so it is important to get legal custody of your children right away. Keep in mind that your spouse will most likely be looking for you and your children so go to court right away for an emergency protective order. Be sure that the protective order grants you custody of the children as well as requiring your spouse to stay away from you because if custody is not part of the order you could be accused of kidnapping. This is only temporary so be sure to include custody of the kids in any divorce or separation proceedings that follow. 

Secure Legal Help

Custody and visitation can be tricky to navigate in any divorce or separation, but a situation of domestic violence can make matters more difficult. If possible it is important to hire a lawyer to help you with these issues and help you with the transition out of the abusive relationship. A knowledgeable family lawyer will be able to help you take action to protect yourself and your kids.

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