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What If My Ex-Spouse Won’t Follow Child Custody Orders?


Issues with child custody can be one of the hardest to resolve for some divorcing couples. You may feel like everything will be fine after the custody hearing. But what if your ex-spouse refuses to follow the child custody orders? You can do a lot to hold your ex-spouse accountable for their actions. However, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes and go through the legal channels. Whatever happens, do not try to enforce the court’s orders because this is the job of the court.

What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Violates The Child Custody Orders

Only the court can effectively enforce custody orders. While it might feel like your ex is merely acting out to get on your nerves or get back at you, refrain from making the situation worse by doing something equally vindictive. For instance, if your ex constantly returns your child later than what’s stated in the order, resist the urge to do the same. To address the violation, you must file a pretrial motion that will enforce the order.

To support your case, keep records of the following:

  • Custody exchanges
  • Specific dates of missed or late visitation or drop-offs
  • Specific dates when your ex-spouse interfered with the visitation schedule
  • What measures you took, like talking to your spouse, to address the issue

When you file your motion to inform the court of your spouse’s violation or contempt of the court’s orders, present your records as proof of what you’ve been experiencing. The court may reprimand your ex-spouse or impose sanctions, such as jail time and hefty fines, based on the severity of your ex’s violation. Likewise, the court may modify the parenting agreement or the entire custody order if your ex has violated the orders repeatedly.

How Your Ex-Spouse’s Violation May Impact Child Custody

When courts decide on custody matters, they consider the willingness of each parent to encourage and sustain a relationship between the other parent and children. This means that if your ex-spouse interferes and violates the custody order, you have all the right to request a modification of the child custody order, and the court will most likely grant your request.

If your ex-spouse has abandoned your child or misses visitation regularly, you may also request a reduction of the visitation time to reflect the amount of time your ex-spouse spends with your child.

Likewise, since the best interests of the child are always central to custody decisions, the court will look at each parent’s ability to meet the specific needs of the child and their emotional stability. And because your ex-spouse doesn’t want to follow the custody order, the court will not hesitate to penalize them and amend the order in your favor.

Consult with a San Antonio Child Custody Attorney Now

If your ex-spouse just doesn’t want to play by the rules and refuses to follow the child custody order, don’t hesitate to reach out to Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, to explore your legal options. Our San Antonio child custody attorney is dedicated to helping parents like you enforce court orders and holding non-compliant parents liable for their actions. Contact us online or call 210-222-9132 to set up your appointment today.