Helping You Understand the
Child Custody Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Custody Determination
Mazaheri Law Firm is committed to helping our family law clients protect the relationship they have with their children. Whether you are divorcing or separating, the decisions you make have a long-lasting effect on you and your children. Our Oklahoma City family law attorneys can provide compassionate, skilled representation throughout your custody case while offering realistic and level-headed solutions to you.
Types of custody in Oklahoma:
Physical Custody - The time that each parent spends physically with each child. This is where the child will live and can have an impact on the decision of who will likely receive child support payments.
Legal Custody - The responsibility a parent has in making important decisions for the child, including but not limited to, education, healthcare, religion, discipline, lifestyle, etc.
Custody can be awarded as sole, joint, or joint legal custody with or without a primary custodial parent.
When are Child Custody Arrangements Decided in Oklahoma?
During divorce, there will be both an initial and final custody determination. Child Custody can also be established for a child born out of wedlock once the paternity has been established.
Frequently in divorce, we hear of one spouse prohibiting the other from seeing the children once separation has occurred. This is a very difficult time for both parents and children. In Oklahoma, the only way to enforce parental rights and access to your child once this has occurred will be to get a temporary order in place and establish the temporary custody and visitation for each parent. Until this has happened, both parents generally have equal rights to the children but there is no mechanism of enforcing those rights in absence of a court order dictating one parent to allow the other to see the children other than an emergency.
Section 110.1 of Oklahoma Title 43, encourages the trial court to provide substantially equally access to the children if the parent requests it. This is not a mandate. Once the temporary orders are in place, if one parents demonstrates a continued unwillingness to follow the court’s temporary orders, thus precluding another parent from having access to the children, Oklahoma courts have used this behavior as grounds for awarding custody to the parent whom was denied access to the child.
How Are Child Custody Arrangements Decided in Oklahoma?
Courts will determine custody based on the child's best interests, and there is no preference for awarding custody to the mother or the father.
Factors that can influence child custody:
The ability of parents to care for the child
How active each parent is in the child's life
How well both parents communicate regarding the children
Ability of parents to provide stability to the children
Desires of the minor child (12 and over is not determinative, but a factor)
Any history of abuse (physical, psychological, or drug/alcohol) or domestic violence
How many overnights the child will have with the parent
Relocation of a parent
Proximity of children to Felons
Each case is unique and requires a customized approach when pursuing a favorable outcome. Our Oklahoma City child custody lawyers at Mazaheri Law Firm have substantial experience navigating the family courts and a deep understanding of custody laws in Oklahoma. We can explain how the law may be applied in your situation.
Can a Parent Deny Access to a Child If Child Support Is Not Paid?
Child support and child custody are two separate matters. If a parent willfully denied the other parent access to a child, he or she may be held in contempt of court and face penalties or even lose custody. There are limited circumstances in which a parent can reasonably deny access to a child, such as if the other parent poses a danger to the child. Parents facing a dispute over child support or custody should talk to an Oklahoma City family law and divorce attorney about modifications or to enforce a court order of child support.
Call 405-414-2222 for a Family Law Consultation
Whether you are facing a private custody dispute, or the Department of Human Services (DHS) is involved in your custody case, or you just need someone as a voice of reason to guide you through child custody planning, Mazaheri Law Firm's dedicated team can walk you through each step. Start with a consultation and tell us what type of issue you are facing.