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Joseph
Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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My wife filed for divorce, but after 16 months it was denied

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My wife filed for divorce, but after 16 months it was denied by the judge. She currently has sole physical custody (joint legal) of our 9- and 11-year-old children. She does not work, and is being supported by me, my father, and foodstamps. She has told the children, who want to live with me, that they can go live with me when I get a home of my own (Due to financial constraints, I am renting rooms in two professional friend's 5800 sq. ft. home), but paying out $1600 a month to her for child support and her car payment keeps me from saving enough to get into a rental. BTW, I am employed full-time and have no issues that would be considered problematic.

Tonight I went to pick up the children for my court-ordered visitation and she wouldn't let them come, telling them this wasn't their night, even though the calendar her attorney prepared clearly states that it is, also telling them that this weekend isn't my weekend, even though it is. So... what are my chances of getting custody without a home yet under this situation here in Maryland? Hopeless? I know I can file a Petition for Contempt (Denial of Visitation), but that can take 60 days before it's dealt with, and what would they do? Is this enough of a change of circumstances to move the court to action?

Once a custodial arrangement has been determined, there are generally two types of actions that would take you back to court.

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The first is contempt and/or enforcement. This would be where one party has done something contrary to what is in the judgment. If the moving party prevailed, the result would be a finding of contempt and an order from the court to come into compliance.

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The second is seeking a modification. This would be where one party wants to modify the current arrangement and would be based on a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances. If the moving party prevailed, the result would be a modification, or change, in the custodial arrangement.

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Unfortunately, what you have described would best fit into the category of contempt or enforcement, it does not appear to be compelling enough to meet the criteria for a modification. Having said that, if she were to continue to engage in behavior such as this, you might then have enough for a modification.

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