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What to do if your ex breaks the custody order

Numerous factors go into a child custody decision. Aspects such as how far away the parents live from one another and whether there are family violence concerns can impact an agreement so that it is not perfectly 50/50. 

Once the court finalizes the agreement, both parents need to abide by it exactly. There may be cases where one parent accidentally breaks the agreement, such as getting caught in traffic and failing to pick up a child on time. Most of the time, it is best to overlook these small mishaps that are clearly accidents. However, if your former spouse demonstrates recurring behavior of not abiding by the child custody agreement, then you need to take prompt action. 

Have your attorney send a letter

After your ex breaks the agreement a few times, you want to get in touch with your attorney. Have your lawyer send an official letter telling the other parent to start following the agreement or further action will be on the table. In many cases, this is all you need to do. The other parent may just test the waters to see what he or she can get away with. Do not tolerate this kind of behavior. 

Seek mediation services

If the other parent continues to break the agreement, then you want to find a mediator. This allows a third party to meet with both you and your ex to see if there are any underlying problems. Your ex may have broken the agreement due to some perceived problem you were unaware of. Through mediation, you may be able to fix these problems without having to go to court. 

Alter the agreement

When all else fails, you can see if a judge will change the child custody agreement. Changes can involve lessening the amount of time the other parent gets. Punishment may be the only way. For the greater chance of success in a court case, document everything. You will need to provide evidence your ex has continually broken the agreement.

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