Oklahoma child custody laws allow for a number of different types of custody. It is important to sit down and discuss with your co-parent how you can best meet the needs of your child and with which type of custody arrangement. Make sure that you get to know these laws beforehand.
What types of custody do Oklahoma child custody laws allow for?
Oklahoma child custody laws require that a custody agreement define both legal custody and physical custody for the co-parents. Legal custody refers to the important decision making for the child and physical custody refers to the day-to-day care of the child. The following custody arrangements are accepted and granted by the Oklahoma child custody laws and courts.
- Joint Custody – this can be applied to legal custody, physical custody, or both. Co-parents with joint legal custody share the important decision making responsibilities regarding health, education, religion, and more. Co-parents with joint physical custody share the day-to-day care of the child by implementing a joint custody calendar, which divides the custodial time between them.
- Sole Custody – this can also be applied to legal custody, physical custody, or both. If a co-parent is awarded sole legal custody of the child, they will solely be in charge of the important decision making responsibilities for the child. If a co-parent is awarded sole physical custody of the child they will be in charge of the day-to-day care of the child. In this case, the non-custodial co-parent is typically given visitation rights to the child.
- Split Custody – Oklahoma child custody laws allow for co-parenting families with multiple children to consider split custody. Split custody is when each co-parent is awarded custody of at least one of their children.
- Birdnesting – this is often seen as joint physical custody with a twist. Instead of the children switching between homes, the children stay in one place while the co-parents rotate in and out of the place where the children are staying. Oklahoma child custody laws rarely grant this because it is typically unsuccessful.
Oklahoma child custody laws encourage co-parents to work together
Oklahoma child custody laws encourage co-parents to work together to come up with a child custody agreement that is in the best interest of their child. After all, they should know what’s best for their child. If an agreement cannot be reached between the co-parents, Oklahoma child custody laws and courts will determine the best interest of the child based on a number of factors and their observations in the courtroom.
How will Oklahoma child custody laws determine visitation and joint custody time?
When a joint custody arrangement is in place, co-parents are typically encouraged by the Oklahoma child custody laws and courts to come to an agreement on their own regarding the details of their parenting plan. This would also include their plans of how their custodial time will be split. Joint custody does not necessarily mean that this time has to be split in half. In fact, co-parents with joint custody typically split time 30/70 or 40/60 depending on their own schedules. This amount of time split is generally acceptable. When a sole custody arrangement is in place, the non-custodial co-parent will typically be given visitation rights to the child. Oklahoma child custody laws and courts will specify a minimum amount of visitation that must occur between the non-custodial co-parent and the child. It is also encouraged to have additional visitation time and frequent communication between the non-custodial co-parent and the child such as over the phone, video chat, email, and so on.
This information is not to be used as legal advice. For additional aide and legal information please consult with an Oklahoma family law professional. For a list of resources in Oklahoma visit our Helpful Links – Oklahoma page. The OurFamilyWizard website® is dedicated to providing co-parents with the tools and resources they need to easily manage their custody agreements. After becoming familiar with the Oklahoma child custody laws, please visit the Co-Parenting page for more information.