This is an important step towards providing full protection for the victims of domestic violence in the eyes of divorce courts.
Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) June 29, 2017
Maryland state legislation has passed an important bill which will offer more protection for the victims of domestic violence as they move ahead with divorce proceedings. Experienced Maryland divorce attorney Brandon Bernstein of the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein advises the public and prospective clients on the impact of the bill.
"This is an important step towards providing full protection for the victims of domestic violence in the eyes of divorce courts," says Brandon Bernstein. "Maryland protective orders may provide physical safety and peace of mind on their own, but now they're more powerful, as actions taken in court related to domestic violence can be used as actionable, admissible evidence in divorce proceedings."
Maryland House Bill 293 (MD HB293) was initially introduced in January. The bill was passed by the house unanimously, before being passed by the senate unanimously, and while the bill was changed slightly the house passed the returning bill and the bill was finally approved by the governor in May.
The final summary of HB293 is as follows: "Repealing a provision providing that an order or a decision in a domestic violence proceeding is inadmissible as evidence in a divorce proceeding; and repealing a provision prohibiting a court from considering compliance with a domestic violence order as grounds for granting a decree of limited or absolute divorce."
More specifically, HB293 repeals Family Law Article Section 7-103.1 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. This provision essentially barred actions taken in district and circuit courts for domestic violence proceedings being introduced as evidence in divorce proceedings.
Previously, while physical abuse could be considered as an accepted ground for absolute divorce in Maryland, the actual protective order was not. This eliminates the possibility of an abuser manipulating a domestic violence victim into changing his or her story, for instance, and uses written, legal documents of prior abuse as evidence in hand. While knowledge of protective orders may already be in existing court documents related to the divorce proceedings, they could not be directly used as evidence.
Anyone who may be facing the prospect of divorce in Maryland from a potentially abusive relationship may call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein for a free consultation to discuss the matter, and to begin taking swift, protective action. Call 240.395.1418 or visit BrandonBernsteinLaw.com for more information.
About the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein, LLC
The Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein, LLC is located in downtown Bethesda, and serves clients throughout the state as a divorce attorney in Maryland, covering a broad range of family law matters, and aggressively protecting the best interests of his clients at all times. He has been named a Maryland Rising Star by Super Lawyers for four consecutive years. The core pillars of his practice are Integrity, Experience, and Results. For a free attorney consultation, prospective clients can visit his website at BrandonBernsteinLaw.com, or call the office directly at 240.395.1418.