Annandale, VA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Maryland

Q: I have 100% physical and legal, my ex has a day visit every other weekend, what happens if my ex won't return child?

I have 100% Physical and Legal custody, for safety reasons (alcohol abuse and mental instability), my child goes for a visit every other weekend for a day visit that has to be supervised by the ex's parents. So far during Covid-19 things have gone smooth, outside of angry texts, drop off and pick up have gone with out issues. However because of issues in the past, and the courts being closed, I have a fear of what happens if I show up to pick up after the visit (I do all transportation), and they won't return my child? Will an office help? Would that be considered an emergency, for an emergency hearing because I would severely be concerned over my child's safety.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The courts are still hearing and processing emergency matters, so an emergency motion could be filed -- although in the case of your scenario, you may not want to wait the day or so it could take to get in front of a judge if this happens on a Sunday or Saturday when no judges are sitting. Most police officers will not get involved in civil custody and visitation disputes, but given the supervised nature of the visits and the basis for them (substance abuse and risk to a minor child) I imagine they would get involved here, but you should have a copy of your court order regarding the visitation with you whenever you drop off or pick up, in the event police must be called. You can always file a petition for protection of you or your child from domestic abuse with a District Court Commissioner, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who is empowered to issue an immediate order granting you immediate custody of your child and direct the Sheriff or police to go to your ex's home and recover your child if need be.

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