How to Enforce a Child Custody or Visitation Order in Your State


Answers to common questions about State custody enforcement, including whether police will enforce a custody order.



If your child's other parent has been violating your parenting agreement, you can take steps to enforce it. Your options depend on whether or not a judge approved your plan. When a judge signs off on a custody or visitation agreement, it becomes a court order. The order is then legally binding on both parents and easier to enforce.

Without a court order, police or the courts can enforce your custody agreement only if a child is in immediate danger. If you are afraid for your child's safety, don't hesitate to call the local police.

After you have a court order, your enforcement options include:

  • negotiating with the other parent to reach an agreement that works better
  • asking the police to step in and help, and
  • reporting the other parent's behavior to the family court judge.

To learn more about each of these options, choose your state from the list below.

Jurisdictional relevance: ST

There are versions of this article for each State.

Select Your State