How To Enforce Your Child Visitation Rights27th Sep 2017


Separation and divorce are distressing – and the impact on your children is the worst part of all.

So it doesn’t make it any easier when your former partner reneges on an arrangement and refuses you visitation rights. In some cases they may even have broken a court order.

Or perhaps they’ve failed to bring your children back to you at the appointed time – leaving you worried, angry and frustrated.

Cases like this should be rare. Sadly they are not. It’s stressful because – after all the upheaval of divorce, just when you thought your life was starting to settle down – the rows start again.

But you can take action…

What Can I Do If My Ex Won’t Keep To The Agreement?

If your former partner rides roughshod over the child visitation agreement then they might be breaching a court order.

And if so, you can take steps to enforce this court order.

Yes, it’s always far better to reach an amicable agreement and stick to it – and that’s the scenario that’s always best for all concerned; it’s the one we recommend. Try to find out what the problem is. Find out why they’re acting the way they are before escalating your response.

But if your former partner continually refuses to honour the visitation rights agreement (or any other family law agreement) then sometimes you have no choice but to take enforcement action.

If they break an order made by a judge then they could ruled to be in contempt of court. And that could have serious consequences.

Contempt of Court

If your former partner breaches a court order – such as visitation rights – then (in rare cases) they can be arrested, fined, ordered to do community service or even jailed.

The fines can be severe. And the community service can be a time-consuming burden. In most cases even the mere threat of these penalties can be enough to deter your former partner from defying the court.

Judges will always put the child’s interests first. And if your former partner is being so obstructive that it’s causing your child harm then the court could reverse the existing living arrangement and rule that your child should live with you instead.

That’s precisely what your former partner didn’t want. The prospect of this is usually enough to make them see sense.
Remember – you’re not alone. The law has your back. We have your back.

Get More Information

Contact Coles Miller Partner Richard Perrins (Head of our Family Law Department) for more information about your child visitation rights, 01202 355698.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.