Enforcement of Your Visitation
When the Other Parent Won’t Follow the Court Order

What happens when you have a court order to see your child, but the other parent unreasonably denies or interferes with your visitation rights? Under Oklahoma law, if you have a court order for visitation (commonly referred to as “physical custody”), you can file a Motion to Enforce Visitation.

What is a Motion to Enforce Visitation?

A Motion to Enforce Visitation is a motion that states:

1. Your current visitation schedule.

2. When you requested/attempted to exercise physical custody within the last 12 months.

3. When you were denied physical custody of your child within the last 12 months.

Oklahoma’s statute on enforcing visitation is found at 43 O.S. § 111.3. This statute also contains an example of a motion. You can also find an editable Motion to Enforce Visitation at www.twogoatssolutions.com/example-forms/.

Steps for Enforcing Visitation.

1. File the Motion to Enforce Visitation at your county court clerk (plus have 3 copies of the Motion).

2. Once the Motion is filed, take a copy of the Motion to your trial judge, and provide a copy of the Motion to the other parent by certified mail, return receipt requested (or as ordered by the court).

3. Take an Order Setting Hearing on Motion to Enforce Visitation to your trial judge. Oklahoma law requires that a hearing be set on your Motion within 21 days after the filing of the Motion, so it is important to take your Motion to the trial judge as soon as possible. An example of an order is found at 43 O.S. § 111.3. You can also find an editable Order at www.twogoatssolutions.com/example-forms/. The Order will be filled out by the trial judge with the court date for the hearing. You will need to retrieve this Order after it is filled out by the trial judge, then you will need to file it at the county court clerk, and get 3 copies of the filed Order. You must then provide a filed copy of the Order to the other parent by certified mail, return receipt requested. You must bring the return of service to the hearing date.

4. At the hearing on the Motion to Enforce Visitation, you will need to provide evidence of your court ordered visitation schedule, the visitation times you have requested, and the visitation that has been denied. You may also provide evidence of why the visitation was interfered with or unreasonably denied. The other parent will be allowed to provide evidence that your visitation was not denied, that there was no interference with your visitation, or that denying the visitation was reasonable.

Some possible defenses by the other parent for denial of visitation may be that the child would have been harmed if visitation was permitted. For example, if the parent entitled to visitation came to pick up the child while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Relief you can Obtain from the Trial Judge.

If the trial judge agrees that there has been denial of, or interference with, your visitation, then the trial judge can take any or all of the following actions pursuant to 43 O.S. § 111.3:

1. A specific visitation schedule;

2. Compensating visitation time for the visitation denied or otherwise interfered with, which time shall be of the same type (e.g. holiday, weekday, weekend, summer) as the visitation denied or otherwise interfered with, and shall be at the convenience of the noncustodial parent;

3. Posting of a bond, either cash or with sufficient sureties, conditioned upon compliance with the order granting visitation rights;

4. Attendance of one or both parents at counseling or educational sessions which focus on the impact of visitation disputes on children;

5. Supervised visitation; or

6. Any other remedy the court considers appropriate, which may include an order which modifies a prior order granting child custody.

The party that prevails is entitled to the trial judge granting reasonable attorney fees, mediation costs, and court costs. The trial judge is required to have a final disposition of a Motion to Enforce Visitation within 45 days from the filing of the Motion.

[Disclaimer: The information in this article is for only informational purposes. It is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

Pansy Moore-Shrier
624 S. Boston Ave., Ste. 1070
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
Voice: 918-592-3001
Fax: 918-794-7149
Email: pansy@mstulsalaw.com