If you are the prevailing partner in a protective order case, you may qualify for Emergency Family Maintenance (EFM).  You may know that in any case involving a child or children, or in a case where the partners are married, you are entitled to ask the Court for Emergency Family Maintenance.  However, before a Court will order EFM you must prove to the Court both your needs and those of your minor children, as well as the other party’s ability to pay.

The Court may ask you to fill out a form called a Financial Statement and file it with the Court.  There is a writable PDF form on the Court’s website (Form CC-DC-DV-004) that anyone can download and fill out.  You can download this form at https://www.mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/court-forms/courtforms/joint/ccdcdv004.pdf/ccdcdv004.pdf.

However, it is essential that you provide accurate information if you want the Court to grant you relief that will help you pay your necessary living expenses.

Before you even begin to fill the form out, there are certain things that you will need to gather so that you can provide accurate information to the Court. For example, the Court will want to know the monthly income of the Respondent as well as any monthly income that the Petitioner may receive.

In order to figure out monthly income, you need to use the proper calculations.  The calculation is different if the person is paid every two weeks than if the person is paid twice a month.

The Court will also request that you provide your actual monthly expenses.  Your monthly mortgage or rent payment is usually set by your lending institution or landlord.  Other expenses may need to be estimated.  For example, you might have to figure out your monthly grocery bill by multiplying the average weekly grocery receipt by 4.3 as there are actually 4.3 weeks in one month. You also may need to provide an average cost for gas and electric, telephone, health insurance as well as medical and dental costs.  You should review your monthly statements or bills to ensure accuracy.

In cases where children are involved, you may need to prorate the housing, food, and medical insurance expenses for each child. School expenses for each child must also be reported and supported with adequate documentation, including school uniforms or other clothing needed by each child.  In addition, the recreational and entertainment expenses normally incurred by each child should also be documented.  Your monthly transportation expense:  provide proof of a monthly car payment as well as a monthly car insurance payment.  And what about monthly gas expenses?  You may also want to list all your assets, like other real estate or other bank accounts, for example. The last section of this form calls for proof of your debts. List the amount of each debt, along with the person or entity to whom it is owed.

You should try to provide figures which are as accurate as possible, particularly if your case later winds up in divorce court or before a family judge.

Properly filling out the Financial Statement for a Maryland peace order and protective order case can be a complex and confusing task. If the form is not completed correctly, the Court may make a ruling that is unfair and does not properly address your financial needs. Some look to attorneys to assist in the skillful preparation of a financial statement in your protective order case.