Oklahoma City, OK, Family Law Attorney

On November 1, 2014, a new law went into effect that gave non-custodial parents more power to act when the custodial parent has denied visitation. Too often, the non-custodial parent feels like they have no recourse when they don't get their visitation, or they stop making child support payments, which only creates additional problems.

Now, Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, § 111.3 says

(B) When a noncustodial parent has been granted visitation rights and those rights are denied or otherwise interfered with by the custodial parent, in addition to the rememdy provided in subsection B of Section 111.1 of this title, the noncustodial parent may file with the court clerk a motion for enforcement of visitation rights. The motion shall be filed on a form provided by the court clerk. Upon filing of the motion, the court shall immediately set a hearing of the motion, which shall not be more than twenty-one (21) days after the filing of the motion.

(F) Final disposition of a motion filed pursuant to this section shall take place no later than forty-five days after filing of the motion.

This means that if you have been denied visistation that has been ordered by a corut, then you have a quick way to get the other parent into court and answer to a judge as to why the visitation has been denied. The hearing before the judge has to be set within 3 weeks of when the Motion to Enforce Visitation is filed. Part (F) says that no matter what, it has to be decided within 45 days. Even if the other parent tries to delay the process to continue denying your visitation, the court will not delay it any longer than 45 days.

(E) The prevailing party shall be granted reasonable attorney fees, mediation costs, and court costs.

Subpart (E) is very important because it uses the word "shall". Previously, the word "may" had been used which gives the judge discretion in whether to make one parent pay for the other parent's attorney fees. Now, the judge must award attorney fees to one party or the other. This means if you have been denied visitation and you file this motion and you win, you will get your attorney's fees paid. It also means that if you are the custodial parent and have denied vistiation to the other party, you are at serious risk of being forced to pay for the other party's attorney fees.