Child custody decisions are often among the most contentious elements of divorce proceedings in Maryland, and the same can often be said for custody orders created between co-parents who were never married. Either way, once the court puts an order in place, both parents are legally obligated to comply with every single part of that order unless a subsequent court order adjusts it, or unless the parties agree otherwise in writing. Any violation of a child custody order could result in serious legal repercussions.
When your child’s other parent violates the terms of your custody agreement, taking prompt legal action with a qualified child custody attorney’s help can be crucial to protecting your child’s best interests and your own. From start to finish of the legal process, a dedicated Frederick child custody enforcement lawyer can tenaciously pursue a positive resolution to your case.
Who Has Jurisdiction to Enforce Custody Orders?
A court must have both “personal” and “subject matter” jurisdiction over a case to have the authority to make a binding decision over it. In other words, the case must involve parties living in the area served by a particular court, and it must have to do with a specific legal issue that the court has authority over. In Maryland, Circuit Courts can handle child custody cases for children living in Maryland for a certain period of time or for parents living, working, paying taxes, and voting in Maryland.
Importantly, though, child custody enforcement can still happen in Maryland even if the child in question no longer lives here, so long as the child primarily lived in Maryland within the previous six months or if the child and at least one parent have a substantial connection to the state without actually residing here—for example, if they live across the border but still go to school here. However, each case is fact specific and where to enforce custody orders can is complicated. A well-practiced Frederick child custody enforcement attorney can provide more specific guidance about what court would have standing to handle a particular matter during a private consultation.
Filing a Motion to Enforce in Frederick
While police officers technically have the authority to enforce child custody orders issued by a Maryland court, law enforcement officers generally prefer not to get involved in family matters unless the child is in imminent danger. If no such threat exists, but a significant custody violation is alleged, filing a motion with the court to enforce the existing order may be prudent.
Depending on the situation, the court may adjust the terms of a custody order in response to repeated violations or hold the delinquent parent in contempt of court. As a seasoned child custody enforcement lawyer in Frederick can explain, a violation may be considered an emergency in certain situations if the delinquent parent leaves the state of Maryland with the child against the provisions of the court order.
Consider Working with a Frederick Child Custody Enforcement Attorney
Proceeding straight to legal action is not always the best approach to custody order violations; it may be possible to resolve these issues without getting law enforcement or the court system involved, or at least to cooperate with the delinquent party so a more workable custody arrangement can be made with the court’s approval and the child’s best interests at heart.
Whether or not you need to get the court involved, a Frederick child custody enforcement lawyer’s assistance can be vital to reaching a positive case outcome. Schedule a meeting with a capable attorney by calling today.