Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

If your ex fails to honor a formal court decree setting a child custody agreement that stipulates the time or duration of child visitation, then your ex is in contempt of court and is breaking the law. Ignoring a child custody agreement set in a court decree is a violation of the law, and can result in legal consequences.

Enforcing the Child Visitation Schedule

The first step to enforcing the child visitation schedule is to try talking to your ex. Remind him that the custody agreement is binding and that he must comply with it or that you will need to take legal action to ensure he does. Sometimes, this simple reminder can be enough. If it isn’t, then your next step needs to be a phone call to a lawyer.

Your attorney can send a letter, again reminding your ex of the court requirements. Often, even if an initial person-to-person talk didn’t work, your ex will shape up and start to comply with the rules once he knows you have a lawyer involved and are serious about enforcing your rights. If your ex still does not comply with the child visitation schedule, then going to court is going to be your only real option for resolving the problem.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Preparing for Child Visitation Court

You should make sure you have as much evidence as you can of what your spouse is doing. Record dates, times and details each time your ex is late. Keep copies of all your efforts to communicate with him about the matter. You can then go back to court and your ex may be held in contempt for violating the court decree. This could mean fines or even jail time, and it will almost always mean a court order compelling your ex to comply with the rules from here on out. In some cases, this behavior on the part of your ex and his refusal to abide by the child custody agreement can also result in an alteration of that agreement in which his visitation is limited or eliminated.

Using Local Law Enforcement to Enforce a Child Visitation Schedule

If are still having trouble getting your ex to follow the court requirements for child visitation, it is possible to get local law enforcement officers to assist you. If your spouse does not deliver your child at the time set in the custody agreement, the police will accompany you to his house to get the child back. Records should also be kept any time it becomes necessary to get the police involved, as these will be very useful to your child custody case in the event that you end up in court over child visitation violations.

In order to enforce a child visitation schedule, consult an experienced divorce lawyer