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Legal Information: Oklahoma

Child Support

December 8, 2023

If a parent with visitation or custody rights stops paying court ordered child support, does the custodial parent have the right to deny him/her visitation?

If a parent who has court-awarded visitation rights stops paying court-ordered child support, you cannot legally deny him/her the right to see their child. If you do, you could be held in contempt of court for violating the court order of custody/visitation. Oklahoma law views visitation and support as being separate. In fact, a pattern of failing to allow court-ordered visitation can be seen as being against the best interests of the child and therefore can be grounds for modification of a child custody order (unless you can prove “good cause” for denying the visits).1

To try to stop visitation, in general, the custodial parent may go to court to try to have visitation modified or suspended, but visitation cannot be denied without an order from the court. When the child’s safety and well-being would be threatened by allowing the non-custodial parent to have the court-ordered visitation (such as when the visiting parent is chemically dependent, involved in an abusive relationship, living with or married to someone that may be harmful to the child, etc.), the custodial parent can possibly get a temporary injunction to immediately stop visitation. Then, the next step would be to file with the court to ask that the visitation agreement be permanently modified.

1 43 O.S. § 112(D)(1)