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Is it legal to withhold child support in Oklahoma?

When it comes to determining visitation rights, in cases where one parent has sole custody, under the Oklahoma statutes, the custody order must specify the minimum amount of child visitation that the noncustodial parent will enjoy. When it is in the best interests of the child, the child custody order can include additional visitation time and encourage the child to keep in contact with the noncustodial parent via telephone.

Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. A vindictive spouse may decide not to honor the child custody and visitation order and refuse to let the noncustodial parent to see the child. Should this happen, the noncustodial parent may feel they can rightfully discontinue child support payments until they can see their child. However, this is against the law. Even if a parent refuses to honor child custody and visitation schedule, the other parent is still obligated to pay child support.

Similarly, if one parent refuses to pay child support, the receiving parent cannot stop the paying parent from seeing the child, per the visitation schedule. The visitation schedule must be honored, even if child support is being wrongfully withheld.

The failure to pay child support or the failure to honor a visitation schedule can have a negative effect on the child and the parents. Nonetheless, the remedies for these situations are in the court, not in the parents’ own hands. By turning to the court for justice, in these situations, parents can address their grievances in a way that will hopefully not have a detrimental effect on their child.