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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

What Is Emergency Family Maintenance And How Does It Relate To Domestic Violence?


Domestic violence is unfortunately a common occurrence in Maryland. For that reason, the Maryland courts have several provisions in place to help those who have been abused by a spouse. You may be able to seek an interim protective order, temporary protective order, or a final protective order from the court. These orders prevent an abuser from making any form of contact with the individual they abused. The abused party may be able to seek emergency family maintenance to help support them and their children. In this article, the Bel Air, MD domestic violence attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered will discuss emergency family maintenance and how it works.

Understanding emergency family maintenance in Bel Air, MD 

Emergency family maintenance or EFM is a form of temporary financial support that is granted to an individual who is eligible for relief. It is similar to alimony or child support. It is paid by the individual who committed the abuse (the respondent) and paid to the person who was abused (the petitioner).

Emergency family maintenance is based on the petitioner’s financial needs and the financial resources of the abuser. It helps ensure that the abused party can afford essentials such as childcare, food, housing, and utilities.

How is emergency family maintenance determined in Maryland? 

The purpose of EFM is to prevent the abused from being dependent on the voluntary financial support of the abuser. It can only be achieved after a protective order is submitted to the courts. To receive EFM, you and your attorney will need to convince the court that you have a financial need. Your attorney will seek to establish that you have financial needs that cannot be met without the aid of the abuser and that the abuser has the financial resources to pay the amount.

You will need to submit a financial statement that shows your finances and that of the abuser. This will determine what your EFM payments will be.

Maryland protective orders and emergency family maintenance 

You can qualify for EFM payments after a court grants a final protective order. A protective order may be issued after your spouse has abused you or your children. This can include any form of physical violence against you or your children or any act that creates a reasonable risk of injury to you or your children such as threats.

What if the respondent doesn’t pay? 

If the court orders emergency family maintenance, it will enforce the order. If the respondent refuses to pay, you can file a petition to hold the abuser in contempt. A violation of a protective order may also lead to criminal prosecution, fines, and potentially imprisonment.

Talk to a Bel Air, MD Family Lawyer Today 

The Bel Air, MD divorce attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered represent the interests of those who need to get an order of protection against an abusive spouse or partner. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your needs right away.

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