Baltimore, MD asked in Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support and Domestic Violence for Maryland

Q: What proper/careful steps do I take to make sure an abusive parent/estranged husband is not given custody or visitation?

My children’s father/estranged husband abused me for 18 yrs. My bones have been broken, & I’ve been covered in lumps & bruises. His violent alcoholic abuse turned into countless death threats & he started threatening & physically abusing the boys & my disabled Mother. Which he admit to in court when I got the courage to get a protective order that he violated twice & was put on 1 year probation. Altho I stated all the abuse in the PO request the children weren’t listed on the order. Once realizing they weren’t protected under mine, I tried to modify it but the abuse I originally mentioned happened too long ago by then & they didn’t approve it. I want a divorce but we’re terrified that he could be granted partial custody/visitation & they’d be in grave danger. What steps do I take to make sure my boys are safe after the child support & divorce happens. They’ve been thru enough & too many times children have been placed in the wrong hands & killed.

2 Lawyer Answers

Pawnee A. Davis

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Your situation needs a lawyer to ask you questions and get more information in order to advise you. So, please contact an attorney experienced in divorce and domestic violence.

Dawn Renee Gould

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Frederick, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It sounds as though you have not filed for divorce yet, so I suggest that you schedule a consult with an attorney who can give you legal advice specific to your situation. You can file for divorce based on cruelty of treatment and request sole legal and sole physical custody. Also as you know, you can file for a protective order and I would suggest speaking to an attorney regarding that as well because a protective order is a civil order, not criminal. You may want to file criminal charges and that would require you seeking the assistance of the State's Attorney's Office.

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