Oklahoma Child Custody Questions

Oklahoma child custody attorneys provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to child custody in Oklahoma and Oklahoma divorce laws.

Who will get custody of our child?

Determination of custody of your minor children will depend on varying factors. Oklahoma courts specifically look at what will be in the best interests of the minor child.

What is joint custody? What is sole custody?

Joint custody is the term that defines a situation where both parents share in and make joint decisions regarding the upbringing of the minor child. Sole custody grants exclusive control over these decisions to a specific parent.

If both parents share custody does anyone pay child support?

Child support in Oklahoma is controlled by a statutory formula which takes into account the parties’ income and amount of expenses each party pays, such as health care costs.

It is possible that even though the parents share custody that one parent will still be obligated to pay child support depending on the specifics of each case.

Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

No. Oklahoma courts do not allow for visitation to be withheld regardless of the status of child support.

When can my child decide which parent to live with?

In Oklahoma, a minor child can express a preference as to where he or she chooses to live at the age of twelve (12).

Do grandparents have custody and visitation rights?

A court can grant visitation rights to a grandparent if it is deemed to be in the child’s best interest.

What is a parenting plan, and do I need one?

Oklahoma does not utilize a parenting plan. Oklahoma does implement a Joint Custody Plan if the parties’ are going to exercise joint custody of the minor child.

If my separation agreement includes custody/support can it be included in the divorce decree?

If your matter is transitioned into a divorce decree, the decree will incorporate all issues including custody and support.

What can I expect from temporary orders?

Temporary orders are put in place by the court to control during the pendency of a case. Temporary orders can be modified during the pendency of at the final outcome of a case.

When will child custody be decided?

Child custody can be decided at the time of a temporary order, at the time of trial, or at any other time agreed upon by the parties.

When can I modify custody?

Custody can only be modified upon a change in circumstances and a showing that such a modification is in the best interests of the minor child.

What if we cannot agree on a custody arrangement?

If the parties’ cannot agree upon a custody arrangement, then this matter is presented to a judge who will make a custodial determination.

What is an ex parte order?

An ex parte order is a temporary order entered by a judge with only one side being present and presenting evidence.

How is custody decided?

Custody is decided based upon what a judge believes to be in the best interests of the minor child.

How can I increase my chances at getting a larger custody agreement?

Custody agreements vary on a case-by-case basis. A party can increase their chances by being active participants in the lives of their children, including school, medical issues, and overall care.

What is visitation?

Visitation is the right of a parent to visit with their children, usually on a certain date and for a specific amount of time.

Can a judge order supervised visitation or no visitation?

A judge can order supervised visitation or no visitation if the judge deems it to be in the best interests of the minor children.

Do courts favor the mother over the father?

Courts in Oklahoma do not favor one parent over the other, rather they look at what they deem to be in the best interests of the minor child.

What should I know before a custody trial?

A custody trial involves many different aspects. Your attorney will prepare you for a trial based upon your individual circumstances.

Can I collect my own evidence to use if my custody case goes to court?

Any person can collect their own evidence. The use of that evidence is subject to the Oklahoma Evidence Code.

Do I need to use a Guardian ad Litem/Custody Evaluator?

A Guardian ad Litem or Custody Evaluator is not mandatory, however, the use of one can be helpful to the court in making its custody determination.

Will my child need to appear in court?

In most instances a child does not need to appear in court. A minor child may be called to testify if they are expressing a preference as to what parent they want to reside with.

What is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act establishes standards each state must comply with in determining custody matters.

What if my wife tries to move the kids out state?

Your wife and children will be subject to, and will have to comply with, the jurisdictional requirements and relocation provisions set forth in the Oklahoma Statutes.

Can a parent change the child’s last name without the other parent’s permission?

There are only limited circumstances in which a child’s last name can be changed without the consent of the other parent.

If I have custody, will I receive child support?

Custody is not the only factor in calculating child support. The amount of court-ordered child support also takes into account the income of the parties’ and what the court deems to be in the best interests of the minor child.