Only the court may create, change, or enforce custody and visitation orders. OCSE does not have any authority to address these issues.
Arkansas law draws a line between the issues of visitation and child support. Things you should know:
- Custodial parties –You may not deny court-ordered visitations because the noncustodial parent is not paying court-ordered child support.
- Noncustodial parents –You may not stop paying court-ordered child support because the custodial party denies court-ordered periods of visitation. If you are being denied your visitation rights, contact a private attorney.
Change of Custody
In child support orders, the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay the custodial party. The noncustodial parent will continue to be ordered to pay the custodial party, regardless of the location of the children, until another order says otherwise or until the new custodian files a notice with the clerk's office to redirect the support and then provides a copy of that notice to the other parties. Just because the children are staying with someone other than the custodial party, the noncustodial parent is still obligated to pay the custodial party according to the court order – this includes instances when the children begin to live with the noncustodial parent.
OCSE does not have the authority to petition the court for a change of custody.
While OCSE doesn’t have the authority to address custody and visitation, the Arkansas Access and Visitation Mediation Program may be available if both parties are willing to sit together to come up with a solution. To find out if you qualify for the program, click here to visit the Arkansas Access and Visitation Mediation Program page and click the button “Am I Eligible?”