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What should I do if my spouse isn't following a custody order?

If you're a non-custodial parent with a restrictive custody agreement, you probably cherish every moment you get to spend with your children. For you, these visits are a way for you to remain connected to your children and ever-present in their lives. If you lost these moments, you might lose the relationship you've worked so hard to maintain.

Unfortunately, in some cases, custodial parents have been known to ignore custody and visitation agreements out of malice. In these cases, negative feelings harbored by the custodial parent against their former spouse cause them to deny visitation, oftentimes without legal standing.

If you're a non-custodial parent in Maryland and your former spouse is failing to comply with a custody order, then you should know that you have the right to obtain legal counsel and seek remedy from the court. So how should you go about enforcing your parental rights? Let's take a look.

As you probably already guessed, your first step should be to talk to an experienced family law attorney who has experience with the enforcement of custody and visitation orders. In some cases, it may be possible to simply talk to your former spouse without involving the courts. If a former spouse refuses to comply, though, it may be necessary to involve a Maryland family law judge.

With the help of your lawyer, you can ask the court to help enforce compliance with a court order. Maryland courts consider the compliance with custody and visitation orders to be highly important, meaning judges are willing to help when applicable and necessary. Typically, the non-compliant parent can be held in contempt of court and then dealt with in accordance with the law.

Withholding visitation from a parent should never be a solution for divorced or separated parents in Maryland. This only hurts the child in the end and creates potentially problematic legal situations for the family.

Source: The People's Law Library of Maryland, "Enforcing Orders," Accessed Dec. 15, 2015

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