Oklahoma Child Custody Laws You Should Know

What are the best interests of the child?

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If you live in Oklahoma and are going through a breakup with minor children involved, it's important to get familiar with child custody laws in your state. If you and your partner have already split but need a new parenting arrangement, it's also a good idea to get a handle on custody laws.

In Oklahoma, a family court uses several criteria to determine child custody. Primarily, a court determines custody based on the best interests of the child.

Do you know what this means? Even if you think you're the parent who's the most fit for your child, the courts may have a different opinion. That's why parents who wish to file for child custody in Oklahoma should first become familiar with the custody statutes in the state.

Best Interests of the Child

In Oklahoma, a court will determine custody based on the best interests of the child. The court will consider the following factors:

  • What's best for the child's physical and moral well-being
  • Which parent is most likely to allow the child frequent and continuous contact with the other parent

Joint Custody in Oklahoma

A court in Oklahoma may grant custody to one parent or both parents. The court will consider a request for joint legal custody and/or joint physical custody. If either or both parents request joint custody, they should jointly or separately submit a parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan should propose how the parents plan to handle the sharing of their child-rearing responsibilities.

The plan shall include decisions relating to:

  • Physical living arrangements for the child
  • Child support
  • Medical and dental care of the child
  • Visitation rights
  • School placement

A court in Oklahoma will either adopt the proposed joint custody arrangement detailed in the parenting plan or modify or reject the proposed joint custody arrangement.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody in Oklahoma

If a parent has been convicted of an act of domestic violence, a court in Oklahoma presumes that joint custody does not serve the child's best interests. The court's primary concern is the safety and well-being of the child and the child's parent who was the victim of domestic violence. However, the court will consider supervised visitation if it serves the best interests of the child.

Modification of Child Custody in Oklahoma

If a parent desires to alter the current child custody order, that parent must prove that a modification of the current child custody plan serves the best interests of the child.

For further information about child custody in Oklahoma, speak with a qualified attorney in Oklahoma or refer to the Oklahoma Domestic Relations statute. Researching custody laws and consulting a good lawyer will likely give you the best possible outcome in court. Don't hold back with your lawyer. If you have any concerns about how your history or background may affect your chances of custody, discuss them in detail with your attorney.