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Legal Information: Oklahoma

Custody

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Laws current as of July 3, 2024

What are some advantages and disadvantages of getting a custody order?

There are many reasons people choose not to file for custody. Some parents decide not to get a custody order because they don’t want to get the courts involved. Some parents make an informal agreement that works well for them. Parents may be concerned that going to court will provoke the other parent. They may worry that if they start a custody case, the other parent will suddenly fight for, and may get, more custody or visitation rights than they are comfortable with.

If the other parent is uninvolved with the child now, he or she may become involved just because a case was started. Also, if the other parent fights for custody, the case may drag on for a long time, which can be emotionally and financially draining. The court will look into many aspects of your personal life that you may prefer keeping private such as past mental health issues, your criminal record, substance abuse issues, and details of your personal relationships.

However, getting a custody order from a court can give you certain legal rights. Getting a custody order can give you:

  • the right to make decisions about your child; and
  • the right to have your child live with you.

Without a custody order, it is possible that both parents may share these legal rights, even if one parent takes care of the child every day. However, if you file for custody, the other parent may also request these rights, and it will be up to the judge to decide. 

We strongly recommend talking to a lawyer who can help you think through whether filing for custody would be best for you, depending on the facts of your situation. You can find legal help by clicking on the Oklahoma Finding a Lawyer page.