If one of the co-parents breaks the child custody agreement, the other parent can take legal action to enforce it. This can result in serious consequences for the offending parent, including fines or even jail time.
What is a child custody agreement?
A child custody agreement is an agreement between the parents of a child about who will have custody of the child. It can be made before or after the separation and can be formal (put in writing) or informal (not put in writing) in nature.
The agreement sets out the arrangements for where the child will live, how often they will see each parent and what contact they will have with other family members. A good child custody lawyer should be able to guide you if you are in such a situation.
So what happens if one of the co-parents breaks the agreement?
If one of the co-parents breaches the custody agreement, the other parent can take legal action. This means going to court and asking for an order from a judge telling the breaching parent to obey the terms of the custody agreement.
It is important to remember that the child’s best interests are always the court’s top priority. This means that the judge will take into account the impact of any legal action on the child and their relationship with both parents.
How do you prove that the agreement has been broken?
In order to prove that the agreement has been breached, you will need to show the court that:
- the other parent has not followed the terms of the custody agreement; and
- there is a significant change in the child’s circumstances since the agreement was made, which justifies breaking it.
Here are examples of violations to the agreement:
- The other parent does not return the child on time or as agreed.
- The other parent takes the child for an extended period of time without consent.
- The other parent moves away with the child without consent.
- The other parent denies the child access to you, their primary carer.
If you can prove that the agreement has been breached, it is likely that the court will make an order enforcing it. This could mean ordering the breaching parent to obey the custody agreement, fining them or even sending them to jail.
It is important to remember that every case is different and you should get legal advice if you are considering taking legal action against your co-parent. However, before taking any legal action, it is important to consider the impact this will have on the child.
Ultimately, if both of you really love your child, you will put your child’s welfare above anything else—because that is what good parents do. Remember that your child has been through a lot already, with the two of you going through the divorce or legal separation and all. Whatever you’re going through will be just as painful, perhaps even more, for your child.