What You Need to Know About Enforcing a Family Court Order in Maryland

There are several different kinds of family court orders that might impact you as a parent. Most of them relate to child custody or child support. The point of an order is to clarify each person’s responsibilities as it relates to some aspect of parenting or divorce. In some cases, however, one party might refuse to follow through with a court order, which presents further legal issues and questions.

It might be clear to you what’s required after a family court judge in Maryland hands down a court order. But what happens if the other party doesn’t follow through? In that case, you might need the help of a MD family lawyer to enforce that court order.

What Are the Consequences of Not Following a Court Order?

If a party is not following a court order, he or she might be:

  • Required to comply with the court order
  • Held in contempt of court and penalized

In order to make this happen, the other party should ask the court to act. This can be done in one of two ways. First, you can request that the other party be compelled to comply with the family court order by filing a Motion to Enforce. This motion asks the judge to (1) compel the non-compliant party to follow the court order and (2) award relief to the party filing the petition. Second, you can pursue a Petition for Contempt. This route asks the judge to consider a few options, including:

  • Hold the other party in contempt for failing to comply with the order
  • Issue a Show Cause Order (which requires the non-compliant party to explain why a judge should not grant a petition for contempt)
  • Impose penalties on the non-compliant party
  • Award remedies to the requesting party

In some cases, you might simply want the other party to comply with what was originally requested, such as following the terms of a visitation schedule or a child support payment schedule. In other cases, however, you may want further remedies, and your Maryland family court lawyer might be able to help you get them.

These family law issues can be complex. It’s a good idea to work with an experienced Maryland family law attorney to review all your options when another party refuses to comply with court orders. It will allow you to make an informed decision about your next step, and increase your chances of success when you go back to court. For help with family court orders in Maryland, contact Allyson Goldscher.

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