If you are an Oklahoma resident going through a divorce where children are involved, it is imperative you understand the state’s child custody laws. Every state is different and understanding Oklahoma’s laws can make a huge difference in whether or not you are able to see your children when the dust settles. Whether you are thinking about seeking a divorce from your partner or you and your partner have already split and you would like to propose a new parenting arrangement, it is smart to educate yourself on Oklahoma’s child custody laws. Child custody is regulated by Oklahoma state laws and are determined by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This Act works to ensure all child custody cases are handled with the utmost care and respect and that all custody orders are enforced in every single state. This is done to prevent interstate kidnapping and non-custodial parents from violating the custody stipulations put in place by the judge.
Understanding Oklahoma’s Child Custody Laws
In Oklahoma, if there is not a custody order set in motion by the state’s court system, both parents are eligible to claim physical custody of a minor child until the court says otherwise. This is the case in the event the child was born during the marriage or if there was already a paternity agreement in place that both partners agreed to. In Oklahoma, the law is less clear regarding unwed parents. However, if the father of the child is named on the birth certificate, he is entitled to physical custody until the court says otherwise.
An Oklahoma judge has the right to grant custody to either one or both parents, resulting in joint custody. If one or both parents request joint custody, they are required to submit a parenting plan (either jointly or separately) outlining their intentions to the court. In the case of joint custody, the plan should include the following:
- Physical living arrangement for the minor child
- Child support
- Medical and dental care of the minor child
- Visitation rights
- School district
In the event of an amicable divorce where both parents are in agreement in regards to custody of the child, a court will likely approve the proposed joint custody arrangement as outlined in the parenting plan. In some cases, a judge may offer amendments to the plan, per approval of both parents.
Other types of custody available in the state of Oklahoma include:
- Sole custody
- Split custody
- Birdnesting (where the children stay at one home and the parents rotate on a court-approved schedule)
Regardless of your situation, we encourage you to consider retaining an Oklahoma City child custody attorney. The child custody attorneys at Worden Law Firm have years of experience representing parents in child custody cases, ensuring the child’s best interests are considered before anything else. We understand how sensitive these types of cases can be and are dedicated to handling them with the utmost care and respect. If you have questions about Oklahoma’s child custody laws or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We would be happy to explain the state’s laws to you in more detail or sit down and look at your specific case. We are here for you and your family – please give us a call today.