It is not unusual for step-parents to do many of the things that the parent can do, especially where the two biological parents have good communication and willingness to be flexible together. However, the greater the battle for divorce and custody and property and everything that goes with a hard fought, long drawn out legal battle, usually there are going to be more restrictions, with more specific details listed in court orders regarding what you can and cannot do, when you can and cannot do whatever you have a right to do. So the answer to your question really depends upon the nature of your relationship with the other parent. Do you both do everything you can to "nail" the other person every time there is some slight deviation from perfect obedience to the court orders? Or do you both treat each other with basic respect, allowing for flexibility and always considering the needs of the child to have parents who actually understand the value of co-parenting? I am sure you see where I am going with this. The answer here depends upon the nature of how you and the other parent have been treating each other. If you both require perfect obedience to the court order and are willing to drag each other into court over every mistake, then of course you run the risk of being dragged into court if your wife picks up the child when the court order does not allow for that. Your question nicely illustrates the value of trying to treat the other parent with basic respect, and vice versa. Although the divorce ends the marital relationship it does not end the need to work together with the other parent in ways which ultimately show the greatest consideration for the emotional needs of your child. You will notice here that I did not need to quote any Maryland family law to answer your question. And that is because judges have the right to exercise what is called discretion, to take into consideration many personal factors when making decisions in family law cases. Family law is unique in this respect, because of the need for judges to listen to so many personal and intimate details of the litigants themselves. Most other areas of law are not so tied to who we are as individuals and personalities. That must be why I like family law, because it allows me to use my knowledge of people annd psychology in my law practice. But here I have digressed. If you have any further questions, you may reach me at (410) 381-1656. I am at your service. David Mahood, Esq.
This answer is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY and does NOT constitute Legal Advice and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of the FACTS, and therefore my answer cannot address your specific situation. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A Consultation, Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.
Your question is unclear, but in general, you must abide by the language of the court order. If it says that you or your wife may not do x, y, and z, than you must comply with that language, regardless of whether you think that it may be silly and unnecessary. Of course, you may ask the court to modify the court order based on changed circumstances, and the court may agree to make such modification, but until it does, no attorney can advise you that you need not comply with the current language.
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