Enforcement of Family Law Orders
Attorney serving Maryland and Washington, D.C. takes action against parties who violate divorce and child support terms
Family court orders are enforceable by law, but some people choose to ignore them anyway. If your ex refuses to comply with the terms of a divorce or child support order, The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC can help. Our firm works on behalf of Maryland and Washington, D.C. clients who require assistance to enforce a previously entered order. Judges have many ways to get someone to provide past due child support, honor a visitation schedule or make required alimony payments. We will examine the circumstances in your case and advise on the best way to secure the resolution you’re entitled to.
How family law orders are enforced
Depending on the situation, a communication from a family lawyer might be enough to compel a party to fulfill their court-ordered obligations. However, if informal measures do not work, you should not hesitate to petition the court for a finding of contempt against the party ignoring the order. Maryland courts have jurisdiction over current state residents, as well as people who no longer live in the state, but did when they were married or when the relevant order was issued. Reciprocal agreements exist with other states and countries to help obtain compliance from individuals who reside elsewhere.
Potential penalties for failure to comply with child support and alimony terms
Once you have filed your petition, the court might schedule a contempt hearing where you can provide testimony and other evidence concerning your former partner’s failure to comply with the order. Various potential penalties exist for people who do not make payments consistent with their child support or alimony obligations, including:
- Withholding of income
- Offsets of federal and/or state tax refunds
- Driver’s license suspension
- Suspension of professional licenses
- Administrative passport denial
- Notice to new employers accompanying withholding order
- Liens on personal property
- Diversion of lottery winnings
- Reporting to credit bureaus
- Civil contempt charges that can include incarceration
Though there are numerous methods of recovering past due funds, the legal process could take some time, so it is imperative to contact an experienced attorney as a problem arises.
Enforcement of child custody orders
In custody enforcement cases, the remedy being sought is not money that is due, but compliance with the parenting time plan previously set forth by the court. As in all custody cases, judges are bound to make decisions that are in the best interests of the children involved, but there are several steps that can be taken in order to enforce the rights of a parent who has been denied time with their son or daughter. A parent’s willingness to support their former partner’s relationship with their children is one factor used in custody determinations. Therefore, a judge can order that missed visitation time be made up or that a parenting plan be amended so that clear consequences exist for subsequent violations. In some cases, custody and visitation terms can be changed and legal fees are awarded to the victimized parent.
Contact a Maryland and Washington, D.C. family lawyer about the enforcement of an order
The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC in Greenbelt assists clients from Maryland and Washington, D.C. who are looking to enforce a previously entered family court order. Please call 202-864-2296 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your case.