The other parent has broken a court order

If you already have a court order and the other parent is breaching the terms of the order, you can get the courts to enforce the order. You may be able to get legal aid to help you.

Here's what to do.

Write a warning letter

First, you should consider writing a warning letter to the other parent setting out what the problem is.

This gives them an opportunity to reply and shows the court you’ve tried to sort the problem out yourself.

Apply to the court

Next, you can apply to the court to enforce the order using a C79 form (or a C78 form if your child arrangements order was made before 8 December 2008).


The court can enforce the order with a fine, community service, compensation or a short prison sentence.

It won’t enforce the order if it thinks there’s a good reason for the breach. In this case, it might suggest that the terms of the order are changed.

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