What to Do When the Other Parent Breaches a Parenting Agreement

written by Fred Campos
A parenting agreement is a document both parents create that sets out the practicalities of raising their children after they separate or divorce. The document should clarify the responsibilities and expectations of each party, with the aim of reducing any uncertainty or conflict regarding their role as parents.

A typical parent plan will cover matters such as child custody, visitation rights, and child support issues. Once signed by a judge, parenting agreements become legally binding and a violation of any of their terms will be enforceable, similar to a breach of contract. You can learn more about breach of contract by visiting this site. In this article, we will explore the steps you should take if the other parent breaches the terms of your parenting agreement.

Document the Breach of Parent Agreements

It’s important to document the terms of your agreement that have been breached including dates, times, and any relevant communication between you and the other parent. Common breaches can include denying scheduled visitation, failing to pay child support, or violating specific terms outlined in your agreement.


Once you have identified the breach, consider opening a line of communication with the other parent. Sometimes, breaches can occur due to misunderstandings or changes in circumstances. By having a constructive conversation you may help to resolve the issue without the need for legal action. This can help you understand the other parent and try to find a solution that works for you both while prioritizing your children’s best interests.


If communicating with your ex-spouse proves ineffective, mediation can be the next best step. Mediation involves a neutral third party who can help facilitate a discussion between you and the other parent with the intention of finding a compromise and reaching a mutually agreeable solution. This can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective alternative to going to court.

Seek Legal Advice

It is advisable to seek legal advice at the mediation stage or immediately after, especially if mediation fails to resolve the situation. An experienced family law attorney can review your parenting agreement and help you understand your legal rights and options, providing you with the guidance you need for your specific situation.

File a Motion for Enforcement

You may need to file a motion for contempt requesting the court to enforce the terms of your parenting agreement. Depending on the nature of the breach, the court may then order the other parent to comply with the agreement or impose penalties for non-compliance. The other parent may also be ordered to pay your attorney’s fees and other costs associated with enforcing the order.

Modifying the Agreement

There may be situations when the breach signals that the existing parenting agreement needs to be modified to take into account changing life circumstances such as work schedules, relocations, or other factors. If your arrangement needs to be modified to reflect such changes, you will need to follow the procedures prescribed by your state for modifying a court order.

Navigating a potential breach of your parenting agreement can be a tricky task. Following the steps outlined above can ensure you approach the matter sensibly and with your children’s best interests in mind.



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