If your spouse or partner claims abuse, they can seek a protective order against you. According to Maryland Courts, a protective order stipulates that a person must follow certain rules and refrain from doing certain things.
It is crucial to understand this process if someone seeks a protective order against you. Here are a few important facts about these legal orders and how they work.
How the court defines abuse
The court considers certain acts abusive, which means a person can seek protection against them. This includes assault, sexual offenses, incurring bodily harm, or threats of bodily harm. Stalking and the “revenge porn”, which are images or videos of a sexual nature dispersed to harm another, also fall into the category of abuse.
Who can seek a protective order
The relationship must qualify according to the legal definition for a person to receive a protective order. Qualifying relationships include married couples, or couples currently divorced or separated. Blood and marital relations also qualify, as do cohabiting couples involved in a sexual relationship. People who share children also qualify, as do any people subject to rape or sexual abuse by the other party.
Alternatives to protective orders
In the event that a relationship does not qualify, but there are allegations of abuse, the court may issue a peace order. Peace orders have similar restrictions, but they involve people other than those described above, such as neighbors or even strangers.
When you receive the order, you must read it in detail to understand your obligations under the law. You will also receive information about a hearing, which you must attend. At this hearing, you can contest the order if you disagree with it.