Breaking a custody agreement can be a serious offense that can result in legal consequences. If someone violates a custody order, it can disrupt the lives of everyone involved, especially the children.

Here’s what you can expect if someone breaks a custody agreement:

Legal Consequences

If a parent fails to comply with a custody order, the other parent can file a motion for contempt in court. If the court finds the parent in violation, he or she could face fines, community service, or even jail time. Additionally, the court may modify the custody order, giving the other parent more time with the child.

Civil Consequences

Violating a custody order can also have civil consequences. The parent who violates the order may be liable for damages if the other parent can prove that he or she suffered any financial losses as a result of the violation. This could include the cost of hiring a babysitter or missing work to care for the child.

Impact on the Child

The most significant consequence of breaking a custody agreement is the impact it can have on the child. Children thrive on routine and stability, and a sudden change in custody can be traumatic. In addition to disrupting the child’s routine, the violating parent may also be damaging the child’s relationship with the other parent.

What to Do if Your Ex Breaks the Custody Agreement

If your ex violates the custody agreement, you should document the violation as soon as possible. Write down the date, time, and location of the violation, as well as any witnesses. If you can, take photos or videos of the violation to use as evidence.

Next, talk to your lawyer about filing a motion for contempt. Your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action and what you can expect during the process. Additionally, you may want to consider mediation as a way to resolve the conflict and avoid going to court.


Breaking a custody agreement can have severe consequences, both legal and personal. If your ex violates the custody agreement, document the violation and talk to your lawyer about filing a motion for contempt. Remember, the most important thing is to protect the well-being of your children.