In some Maryland divorce and child support cases, one of the parties does not comply with the court’s decisions and rulings. While there are different avenues that the other party can take to change that, one option is to file a petition of contempt. It is the Maryland court’s way of enforcing judgments when people disobey the orders. There are two different types of contempt, civil and criminal. In a Maryland divorce or custody case, contempt would be considered civil. The judge has the power to order the party that doesn’t comply with the order to pay fines or even go to jail. Sometimes in civil contempt cases the judge may even order compensation to be paid by to the other party. The person in question can prevent these punishments by complying with the original order.
When a judge has ordered child support, custody or alimony, both parties must comply with the requirements listed in the order. To bring disobedience to the court’s attention, the opposing party will have to file a petition for contempt with the Family Division and Civil Departments of the Maryland court. Filing the petition doesn’t always mean the other party will have to comply; it simply means that the judge will consider it. Non-compliance must be proven by the petitioner before the individual can be found in contempt. A Maryland family lawyer is helpful in handling these situations.
Sometimes there are special circumstances why a person doesn’t comply with a court order. If someone suspects that a petition of contempt is going to be brought against them, whether they believe they are justified or not, it is important for that person to be represented by a Maryland family attorney before the problem escalates. If the petition is brought against them and they wish to fight it, a Maryland lawyer who handles family law and child support contempt cases is needed. While it is helpful to use the divorce lawyer that handled the case originally and is familiar with its background, it is not required.
For more information about Maryland child support laws and how they affect you, contact Bethesda lawyers Hecht & Associates at 301-587-2099 to set up a consultation appointment.