The best custody arrangement In Oklahoma depends on the particular situation and facts of your case. Going through a separation or divorce can come with many logistical and emotional challenges. If there are children involved, it can be even more difficult. There can be many factors in deciding on a plan for custody and visitation. At the center of custody and visitation choices should be consideration of what will be most beneficial to the children.
What Are Oklahoma’s Child Custody Laws?
In Oklahoma, child custody is the parental right to raise a child. This includes a parent’s right to make decisions for the child.
When deciding custody arrangements in Oklahoma, the court decides based on the best interests of the children. There are also two types of custody in Oklahoma: legal custody and physical custody.
What Is Legal Custody?
In Oklahoma, legal custody grants the right to make important life decisions for the child. Some of the types of decisions legal custody gives an adult the right to make for the child include:
- Determining where the child will go to school and other educational concerns
- Choosing the child’s religious upbringing
- Making major medical decisions for the child, such as if a child should get surgery
What Is Physical Custody?
Physical custody differs from legal custody because it involves who will have physical command of a child. For example, physical custody involves who will be with the child each day and will make daily decisions concerning the child’s care.
Some decisions physical custody gives the right to make for the child include:
- What time your child goes to bed and gets up each day
- What will your child eat each day
- Other day-to-day concerns like getting your child to school and appointments.
Sometimes a court will not specify what kind of custody is granted. If there is any confusion as to what kind of custody you are granted, a family law attorney will be able to help you determine the more specific details of your custody arrangement.
What Are The Options For Child Custody?
There are two options for custody in Oklahoma. You can be granted joint custody or sole custody.
If you have sole custody, you have exclusive rights to decide for your child. In the case of sole custody, the other parent does not have a say in the child’s care. If you are granted sole physical custody, the child lives with you full-time. However, the other parent may be granted visitation periods.
Joint custody in Oklahoma means both parents will share the right to make decisions about the child. If you have joint physical custody, you will share time with the other parent regarding having your child live with you.
What If There Is No Custody Order From A Court?
The consequences of not having a custody order in place really depends on what your relationship is with the other natural parent. There is a difference and it depends on if your child was born inside or outside of marriage. In Oklahoma, If you are married to the other parent and if a court has not issued a custody order, each parent is equally entitled to physical custody of the children. This means that if you are married, to get a custody order in place you will have to file a divorce, or separation and get a court order.
If on the other hand you and the other natural parent were not married when your child was born it is the natural mother who is deemed to have custody. In this instance one of the parents must file a paternity action and in that case set out custody and visitation orders.
What’s The Best Custody Arrangement Oklahoma?
Every family law case is different, with its unique factors. However, the most important consideration is always what will be best for the child involved. In my view the best custody arrangement is one that both parents agree on. If the parents leave it to a court no one really gets exactly what they want. Instead you are leaving it up to a Judge who really doesn’t know you or your kids. In those cases where agreement by the parents is impossible the courts will fashion and order based on its belief in what’s in the best interest of the child.
Oklahoma Divorce Lawyers
If you are going through a divorce or custody battle, it is important for you to be supported by an experienced Tulsa family law attorney you can trust. Legal matters concerning your family can be complex, even if there are no additional considerations like custody arrangements.
When your family law case also involves visitation and custody matters concerning your children, extra care should be invested into handling your case. To learn more about how we can support you in your divorce or paternity call 918-743-2233 or contact us online.