Oklahoma Child Custody Law

Types of Child Custody in Oklahoma

Oklahoma divides custody into two separate categories. Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a party’s right to make decisions regarding the raising and care of a child. Physical custody is a party’s amount and type of visitation. However, custody can be further explained and awarded as follows:

Joint Legal and Physical Custody . The term joint custody both parents sharing in the aspects of physical and legal care, custody, and control of their children. Parties enter a joint child custody plan, which establishes which decisions concerning the children’s upbringing will be shared and plans for visitation. The visitation can vary based on the parties’ schedules, but in a joint legal and physical custody parent each party is to have equal and shared time with the children. This can be divided numerous different ways as the parties see fit. If appropriate visitation can be every-other week, every other day, extended summer and holiday visitation.

Sole Custody . Is when one parent is found to be unfit to be involved in the aspects of the physical and legal of a child, with the court determining that is in the best interest of the minor child that only one parent have legal custody. Or, both parents may be fit to have joint legal custody, but circumstances (such as one parent living in another state) may prevent one party from exercising joint legal custody. Again, the court must determine that sole legal custody is in the best interest of the minor child. Visitation can and does occur with sole custody, but often times is not equally shared between the parties.

Splitting Custody and “Nesting” . The following two situations are fairly rare and are awarded after the court determines that such custody is in the best interest of the children or the parties are able to agree to such terms.Split custody involves a situation where each parent is awarded custody of at least one of their children. With the children living in separate houses. This doesn’t preclude visitation or physical custody of the other parent, but one parent will always be the primary custodian of one child.

“Nesting” is divided custody of the children, with the children staying in a residence, with the parents rotating and alternating “living” in and out of the children’s home on a set schedule. This requires substantial cooperation between parents and is rarely succeed.