My Ex is Not Following Custody Agreement: 5 Things to Do

My ex is not following custody agreement – is a very frustrating and upsetting situation in the world of co-parenting. But there are steps you can take to address the issue. So, what do you do? Are you wondering about your legal rights in this situation?

From my personal experiences, I will share five working tips and legal options on what to do if someone does not follow a custody order.

my ex is not following custody agreement

My Ex is Not Following Custody Agreement: 5 Things to Do

I know a person named Johan who was in a similar situation as you. Johan and his ex-wife had a nasty divorce, and they have been sharing the custody of their two kids since then. The final court order said that the children would spend every other weekend with Jhoan and one night during the week.

Johan’s ex-wife started to date someone new, and she began neglecting the children when it was her turn to have them. She often left them with her new boyfriend or his family, and she would go out partying or drinking. The children were always dirty and hungry when they were returned to Johan.

This kind of bad co-parenting caused a lot of stress for Jhoan. He worried about his children and felt he could not care for them when they were with him properly. He also felt like his ex-wife was violating the custody agreement.

If you are in a similar situation, here are five things you can do:

#1. Try to resolve the issue informally:

“My ex won’t abide by custody arrangements; now what?”

In some cases, the other parent may not be intentionally violating the custody order but may have misunderstood it or made a mistake. Try to communicate with them and see if you can resolve the issue informally before taking further action.

This means talking to the other parent and agreeing on a new schedule that works for both of you. It can also mean reaching out to a mediator or therapist to help facilitate communication and come to a resolution.

However, if the other parent is unwilling to communicate or work towards resolving the issue informally, it may be necessary to take further action.

#2. Send a warning letter to an attorney:

If an informal resolution is unsuccessful, sending a warning letter to the other parent’s attorney may be necessary. This letter should outline the violations of the custody order and state that legal action will be taken if the violations continue.

Having an attorney draft and send this letter can help show that you are serious about enforcing the custody order and may encourage the other parent to comply.

#3. Try to use mediation services:

Mediation services can help try to come to a resolution and enforce the custody order. A neutral third-party mediator can help facilitate communication between both parties and work towards finding a fair solution for everyone involved.

If necessary, the mediator may also be able to make recommendations to the court on how to enforce the custody order.

#4. Petition to modify the custody order:

If the other parent violates the custody order, you may need to petition the court to modify the custody arrangement. This means going back to court and asking for a change in the custody order due to circumstances such as the other parent’s failure to comply with it.

The court will then review the situation and decide whether or not to modify the custody order. You may appeal for sole custody as others are not following the court order. The court may allow it only if it is in the child’s best interest.

#5. File a contempt action:

If all other efforts have failed, filing a contempt action may be necessary. This means going to court and asking the judge to hold the other parent in contempt for not following the custody order. The judge can then impose penalties such as fines or even jail time for violating the custody order.

The judge may also order the sheriff or law enforcement to enforce the custody order if necessary. Remember that filing a contempt action can potentially worsen relationships between both parties and may be a last-resort option. It is also necessary to have evidence of the violations before proceeding with a contempt action. Otherwise, the other part may easily beat it.

What can I do if my ex refuses to follow our custody order? I hope the below discussion will guide you properly:

FAQs on My Ex is Not Following Custody Agreement

Can the police enforce a child arrangement order?

Enforcing child custody and visitation orders is not the work of the police. Typically police don’t want to involve in family law matters, but in some cases, they can.

If you believe your child’s other parent breached a child arrangement order, you should contact the police. The police may investigate the situation and take action if they think it’s necessary.

The police are used to enforcing court orders, such as those relating to the custody of children. However, they cannot enforce a child arrangement order on their own.

If there is an issue with the other parent not following the order, the police can take action. However, they will need to speak to a solicitor or a barrister before taking any further steps.

The police can also provide advice and support to parents who are experiencing difficulties with child arrangements. In some cases, they may be able to mediate between the parents to agree.

What happens if one parent does not follow a court order in Florida?

“Father not following parenting plan.”

If one parent does not follow a court order in Florida, there are a few potential consequences.

First, the other parent may file a contempt of court action. This means the parent who did not follow the court order would have to go back to court and explain why they did not comply.

If the judge finds that the parent did not have a good reason for not following the order, they could be held in contempt of court. This could result in fines, community service, or even jail time.

Additionally, the judge may modify the existing court order to make it more specific or enforceable. If the non-compliant parent routinely fails to follow court orders, the judge may strip them of their parental rights altogether.

How do I enforce a custody order?

Enforcing a custody order can be difficult, especially if the other parent is uncooperative. The first step is to establish an informal agreement with the other parent. If that is not possible, you may need to file a Motion to Enforce with the court.

This will require you to submit evidence of the custody order and show that the other parent has violated the order. The court will hold a hearing where both sides can present their case. Suppose the court finds that the other parent has indeed violated the custody order.

In that case, it may take several steps to enforce the order, such as ordering make-up time or changing the custody arrangement. Enforcement of a custody order is often a complicated process, so it is essential to seek legal guidance if you are in this situation.

What happens if my ex breaks a court order?

It’s a violation of a child custody or visitation order. If your ex breaks a court order, there are several possible consequences. Depending on the severity of the violation, they may be required to pay a fine, appear in court, or even spend time in jail. Sometimes, the court may also order them to complete a parenting class or drug treatment program.

If the violation is grave, they may lose custody of their children or be ordered to pay spousal support. However, it is essential to remember that courts typically prefer to encourage compliance with court orders rather than impose punishments.

As a result, many judges will give an ex who breaks a court order a second chance if they take steps to correct the situation.

Can a sheriff enforce a custody order?

In the United States, there are a variety of law enforcement agencies that have the authority to enforce custody orders. However, the sheriff’s department is typically the agency that is responsible for this type of enforcement.

If a parent does not comply with a custody order, the other parent can contact the sheriff’s department and request that they take action. The sheriff’s department will then investigate the situation and, if necessary, take steps to enforce the order.

This may involve working with the courts to issue a warrant for the arrest of the non-compliant parent or taking other legal action. In some cases, the sheriff’s department may also be able to assist in locating a parent who has failed to comply with a custody order.

Ultimately, however, it is up to the sheriff’s department to decide whether or not to take action in any particular case.

What voids a custody agreement?

Several different factors can void a custody agreement. If one parent is convicted of a crime, this can void the agreement.

In addition, if one parent moves out of state, this can also void the agreement. If one parent gets married, this can void the agreement.

Lastly, if one parent dies, this can void the agreement. However, it should be noted that these are just a few examples of things that can void a custody agreement. It is always best to consult an attorney to determine if a particular situation will void an existing agreement.


Enforcing a custody agreement can be challenging, but remember that you have the right to enforce the court’s decision and ensure your child’s well-being. 

Taking action, either informally or through the courts, can help ensure that the custody agreement is followed and that your child’s best interests are considered.

Always consult with an experienced family law attorney for guidance and advice on handling any violations of your custody order. They can provide support and assist you in taking the necessary steps to enforce the custody arrangement.

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