What to do about conflicting custody orders?

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What to do about conflicting custody orders?

I won my custody case in court as my own lawyer. My ex-girlfriend sent me the order but included things the judge did not say; I amended and returned to her lawyer, however my ex won’t sign. We have to go in for a disposition. My understanding of this is we show the judge the 2 orders and he picks the 1 to sign. Is this a trial? Could anything change that day. The judge ordered my daughter to live with me, mom has visits on wed and every other weekend.

Asked on October 10, 2012 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to call the court coordinator and confirm the purpose of the hearing. What you are describing sounds like a hearing just to clarify what the judge ordered so that it can be reduced to writing. This is not an uncommon procedure, especially in family law. This would not be considered a final hearing where evidence is offered and the judge makes a new set of rulings. Instead, the judge may review both documents and order, make his own edits, and require one party to make the changes for submission to the court for signature.

However, you do not want to get ambushed-- which does occassionally happen in family law. Out an abundance of caution, call the court coordinator and make sure that the hearing is not evidentiary in nature which would include the calling of witnesses and presentment of evidence. Take down the name of the person you talked to and when. If you go to the disposition hearing and the judge decides to change the purpose of the hearing, then you will have a basis for asking for a continuance, if you need one, to gather your witnesses and evidence.


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