Question from evee, How to Enforce Joint Custody Rights in Oklahoma?
Answer from AI:
When an exit order for a county in the state of Oklahoma grants parents joint custody but does not specify a visitation schedule, and one parent is denying the other parent access to the children, the affected parent has several options to enforce their custody rights. Here’s what the second custodial parent can generally do:
Review the Custody Order
- First, carefully review the existing custody order to understand the legal rights and responsibilities outlined within it. Even without a specific visitation schedule, joint custody implies both parents have equal rights to the children.
Attempt to Communicate and Mediate
- Try to communicate with the other parent to resolve the issue amicably. It’s often best for the children if parents can agree without involving the courts.
- If direct communication is not successful, consider mediation. A neutral third party can help facilitate a discussion and potentially help reach an agreement.
Document Denial of Access
- Keep a record of all instances when visitation or contact was refused. This documentation can be important if legal action becomes necessary.
File a Motion to Enforce
- If informal attempts fail, the next step is to file a motion to enforce the custody order with the court that issued the original order. This motion asks the court to enforce the terms of the joint custody arrangement.
Seek Legal Advice
- Consult with a family law attorney for personalized legal advice. An attorney can help you understand your rights, the legal process, and represent you in court if necessary.
Prepare for Court
- If the case goes to court, be prepared to present evidence of the denial of access, any communication with the other parent, and how the lack of contact is affecting the children.
Consider Requesting a Specific Visitation Schedule
- During the legal process, you may request the court to establish a specific visitation schedule to prevent future ambiguities and conflicts.
Understand the Consequences for the Other Parent
- The court may find the other parent in contempt if they are willfully violating the custody order. This could lead to various penalties, including fines or changes to custody arrangements.
It’s important to note that taking legal action can be complex and time-consuming. The guidance of a family law attorney is invaluable in these situations. For more information on custody and visitation rights in Oklahoma, you can refer to the Oklahoma Statutes and consider reaching out to local legal aid organizations for assistance.
Remember, this information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Each situation is unique, and laws can change over time. Always consult with a legal professional for advice specific to your circumstances.