Motion to Enforce Visitation Rights in Oklahoma
Do you have a Court Order (Decree of Divorce or Decree of Paternity) which gives you a schedule to visit your child(ren)? If so, then you can file a Motion to Enforce Visitation. The Oklahoma law setting out the requirements for enforcement of Visitation is found at 43 O.S. 111.3. The hearing on a Motion to Enforce can occur within 21 days. You have the right to request make-up Visitation for the time denied. A good practical tip is to keep a calendar with the dates/times you believe have been denied. Document efforts to see the children via text and/or e-mail, and keep copies of all correspondence to potentially use as evidence of the denied Visitation. If it has been an extended period of time since you have seen your child(ren), a court may order a schedule appropriate for reunification until the normal court-ordered schedule can resume. Oklahoma law places a duty upon the custodial parent to facilitate Visitation with the non-custodial parent. The Court has many legal remedies available if it determines that Visitation has been improperly denied, including but not limited to Supervised Visitation, attendance at a parenting class and a Modification of Custody.
You do not necessarily need an attorney to file a Motion to Enforce, as long as you already have a court order. The above link to the Oklahoma law contains a sample form for a Motion to Enforce if you already have a court order for Visitation, and some counties have forms already available.
Is there any reason that justifies visitation being withheld? Yes, Oklahoma law provides for the protection of a child or children in situations of Child Abuse, Neglect and Domestic Violence in 43 O.S. 111.4. See the full text of the statute in the quote below:
A. A parent who, in good faith and with a reasonable belief supported by fact, determines that the child of that parent is the victim of child abuse or neglect, or suffers from effects of domestic violence, may take necessary actions to protect the child, including refusing to permit visitation.
B. In cases in which there is evidence to substantiate suspected or confirmed child abuse or neglect, visitation shall be suspended.
43 O.S. 111.4