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How to Enforce a Custody Order

Once a court approves a child custody order, it is a legally binding contract that must be upheld by both parties. Neither parent can choose to disregard or change the custody order unless they receive a modification order first.

What happens if a former partner violates the custody order? What are your rights and how can you get your ex to honor the order again?

Communicate with Your Ex

The court expects parents to follow through with custody arrangements after a decision has been made. However, if one person isn’t holding up their end of the arrangement, a court will not referee over minor disputes or violations. If the issue is minor enough, clear communication could potentially solve it without getting the court involved. For example, your ex could always try to switch days they have custody. If this is something you don’t like, try explaining why you would rather stick with the custody arrangement made through the court rather than go off on your own path.

File a Motion of Enforcement

If speaking with your ex about your issues didn’t work, contact an attorney familiar with court order enforcement. An attorney can help you file a motion of enforcement in an effort to force your ex to uphold their end of the child custody agreement. Depending on the situation, there are a few different enforcement options you can choose from:

  • enforce custody and visitation: With this option, a judge will have both parties appear in court to investigate why the visitation schedule is no longer working. If time with the child has been missed, the judge may award make-up time.
  • hold the other parent in contempt: This enforcement option punishes the non-compliant parent. A judge will hold the other parent in contempt of court, which can result in sanctions, fines, and/or jail time.
  • have the child immediately returned to you: Perhaps a reason you are seeking custody enforcement is because your ex won’t let you have your sanctioned time with your child. You can ask the court to award you temporary sole custody of your child.

Cynthia Tracy Attorney at Law, P.C. Can Help

Our attorneys understand how frustrating it can be when the other party won’t uphold their end of a custody arrangement. We will help you work with the court to get your voice heard.

Contact our firm online or give us a call at (281) 612-5443.