What to Do When A Co-Parent Breaks the Custody Agreement

One of the main purposes of a custody agreement is to establish a formal plan for how co-parents will approach childcare after divorce or separation. When one co-parent breaks the custody agreement, it can cause frustration and anger and lead to fractured relationships with the co-parent and children involved. If your ex-partner has broken your custody agreement, it’s important to take legal action. Below, the experienced attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss what actions should be taken if your co-parent breaks the custody agreement. 

Have a Conversation With Your Ex-Partner

Sometimes custody agreement issues can be resolved by simple communication. Attempt to first have a civil conversation with your ex-partner. Be respectful, but make sure they understand that they have violated the custody agreement and that if issues are not resolved, you’ll be taking action. 


Document Any Violations 

It’s important to make a record of any custody agreement violations by your co-parent. Consider utilizing a calendar that includes both parents’ schedules. Make a note of the time and day they disregarded the custody agreement. In addition to recording any violations, obtaining the child’s school attendance records, or other documentary evidence, may be another useful piece of information. Your co-parents’ social media activity is often another useful resource. For example, they could be sharing posts that clearly prove how they are violating your custody agreement.  Screenshotting relevant information can be highly useful.   


Have Your Attorney Write A Letter to Your Co-Parent

If your conversation with your partner did not go over well and you are still experiencing issues with your custody arrangement, have your attorney write a letter to your co-parent or his or her attorney.. This can be an effective way to get them to adhere to the custody agreement. This step is simple and can help you avoid getting the court involved. The letter could inform your ex-partner that they must adhere to the custody agreement or they could risk legal action being taken against them. 


Inquire About Mediation Services

Avoid going to court by requesting mediation. Find out if the court where your child custody orders were issued has a Family Services Office or a Family Relations Office. If they provide mediation services, request one. Mediation may assist you and your ex-partner in resolving your dispute without the need for an appearance in court. 


Request A Change to Your Custody Agreement in Court

If your ex-partner is no longer cooperating and ignoring the custody agreement altogether, you may have grounds to request a change to your custody agreement with the court. You will have to prove a material change in circumstances, and that a change in the custodial arrangement would be in the best interest of the minor child.  Speak to an attorney, such as the child custody attorneys at Rodier Family Law, and let them know you are considering requesting a change in your custody agreement due to these violations in order to work through your options. 


File to Enforce Your Agreement, or For Contempt 

In some cases, you have the option of filing to enforce the terms of your Agreement and/or for contempt if your ex-partner has been disobeying the custody agreement that you have in place when they are capable of adhering to your agreement. Recent case law has presented concerns among members of the bar (attorneys) as to the viability of civil contempt, therefore it is highly advisable to consult an attorney if you need to file a court matter to enforce the terms of your current custodial agreement. 


Contact the Child Custody Attorneys At Rodier Family Law Today For Assistance

We understand the frustration that comes with an ex-partner not cooperating with a child custody agreement that you both settled on. At Rodier Family Law, we’re here to support and guide you through the process of reinstating a custody arrangement that works for you and your child.. To request a consultation with our attorneys, call (410) 803-1839.