Child Support and Child Custody Are Separate
Video Transcribed: My name is Jason Lile, and I am a Dads Rights lawyer in Oklahoma. If you aren’t getting visitation with your child or children, do you still have to pay child support? I get this question a lot, representing men for many reasons.
And I think if I try and empathize with my clients, there’s this inherent sense of unfairness. I’m not getting to see these children. They’re being withheld from me. I don’t have any visitation on paper, and I’m paying for them.
And unfortunately, the answer is tough to hear, but it needs to be processed by you and your lawyer. And the answer is, is that child support obligations and visitation rights are 95% separate issues. I say 95% because when you do a child support calculator in Oklahoma, there is a spot to say, how many overnights do you have on paper with this child or these children?
You cannot and should not go into court saying, “I’m not paying my child support,” or, “I shouldn’t have to pay child support because I’m not getting to see my child or children.” The judges will not be impressed by that argument because, in Oklahoma law, they’re just separate issues.
That being said, if you’re not getting to see your children, you do have to pay child support. Still, you should also have somebody who can help you, side by side dealing with the child support issue, establish and enforce your rights to see that child or those children because it’s equally important.
It is unfair and needs to be properly addressed under the law. As we’ve discussed in other videos, you can have your attorney file a motion to enforce your visitation if you’re not getting to see your children.
If the reality is, is that the other parent is willfully withholding that child from you, they could be brought up on contempt of court charges or a combination of both, and you can potentially recover your attorney’s fees for filing those motions and having to adjudicate them just to have your right to visitation enforced.