Get An Enforceable Court Order
Video Transcribed: My ex won’t abide by the custody arrangement. What do I do? I’m Tulsa child custody lawyer James Wirth. And that is the question that we have regarding Oklahoma law. What do you do if your ex is not abiding by the custody agreement?
Well, first off, the question would be, is this something you guys have agreed to outside of court, or has this been entered as a court order? If you guys have an arrangement you’ve come between yourselves that you’ve agreed upon, but a court hasn’t entered it, it’s not necessarily enforceable. So you need to get into court to get an enforceable court order.
So looking at the question again, assuming you do have an order in place, if they’re not going by and going along with those terms abiding by those terms, that means they’re violating the court order. So what do you do about that?
They may benefit from a decrease in their child support that they’re not entitled to because they’re not exercising the visitation. They may have legal joint custody but may not be participating enough to have an effective joint custody arrangement. So you may want to modify to terminate joint custody and get sole custody.
If it’s on the other side and you’re entitled to court order visitation, but the primary custodial parent denies you that, then you’ve got other options. You can file a motion to enforce that visitation. By statute, that’s supposed to be set for hearing within 21 days, which in Tulsa County is very quick because it takes a long time to get hearings in some of the larger counties in the State of Oklahoma.
Also, suppose they’re violating a court order on either side. In that case, you can file an application for contempt citation showing that they should be quasi-criminally prosecuted as part of that for violating the court’s ruling. Ultimately, in Oklahoma, if they’re found guilty of indirect contempt of court, they can be sentenced to up to six months in the county jail and up to a $500 fine, which can be used as a kind of force to compel compliance going forward.
The other thing is that you can request makeup visitation as part of a motion to enforce. If they’re denying you visitation, file the motion to implement the request that visitation is forced going forward, but also request makeup visitation for what occurred in the past.
Also, that can be grounds for modifying custody visitation in your favor. Suppose they’re not acting in the child’s best interest by denying a relationship with the other parent in violation of a court order. In that case, that can be grounds to modify to get you more custody or more time.
So those are a few different answers for the few other possible circumstances. Your circumstances may be unique, though. So you need to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially about what’s going on in your case to get personalized legal advice. To get that scheduled with an Oklahoma child custody lawyer at my office, you can go to makelaweasy.com.