Changes coming to Oklahoma’s noncustodial visitation law

A noncustodial visitation bill has been signed into law that will make it easier to enforce visitation schedules.

New visitation enforcement rules come into effect Nov. 1

A bill that would provide greater protections for noncustodial parents to enforce visitation orders has been signed into law and will go into effect Nov. 1, according to Stillwater News Press. The law provides noncustodial parents with additional measures to make sure a court ordered visitation schedule is adhered to by the custodial parent. While previous law allowed noncustodial parents to file a contempt order against the other parent, the new law allows noncustodial parents to file an administrative Motion for Enforcement with the Court Clerk’s office. Proponents of the changes say the administrative process will make enforcing visitation agreements easier.

Penalties for violating visitation schedule

When a Motion for Enforcement has been filed, then a hearing must be scheduled within 21 days. The noncustodial parent may be awarded additional time with the child if it is found that his or her visitation rights were indeed infringed upon. Under the law, a custodial parent would also be required to provide the noncustodial parent with a visitation schedule, but only if the noncustodial parent is up to date with his her child support payments.

According to KFOR News, the new law would also require custodial parents to pay a fine if they violate the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. The law also requires the custodial parent to explain why a visitation schedule was not adhered to. Proponents of the law say that previous rules made it much more difficult for noncustodial parents to enforce their visitation rights.

Additional protections

The law, however, goes further than making the enforcement of visitation rights cheaper and easier for noncustodial parents. For example, one or both parents may end up being ordered to attend counselling. Additionally, a judge could require supervised visits and even modify a previous custody order as a result of a visitation order being violated.

The changes are important to keep in mind for both custodial and noncustodial parents in Oklahoma. Not only will noncustodial parents have additional safeguards when the law comes into effect in November, but custodial parents must be aware to not take any actions that could potentially violate a visitation order.

Why legal advice matters

While the law is being touted as making visitation orders easier to enforce, parents should not assume that that means they no longer need to rely on a family law attorney when enforcing such orders. Indeed, whenever there is a change to visitation laws it takes an experienced attorney to help parents navigate the new rules and procedures.

Any parent who currently has a child custody or visitation issue that needs to be resolved should contact a qualified family law attorney today. With experienced legal counsel, parents will have the help they need when protecting the rights and interests of both themselves and their children.

Keywords: changes, noncustodial visitation, visitation order, new protections