Legal Information: Oklahoma


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November 18, 2022

What is custody?

There are two types of custody in Oklahoma: legal and physical custody.

Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about your child (under 18 years old).  Some types of decisions included in the right of legal custody are:

  • where your child goes to school,
  • whether your child gets surgery, and
  • what kind of religious training your child receives.

Physical custody is the actual physical possession and control of a child.  In other words, it covers who the child lives with on a day-to-day basis. Some types of responsibilities with physical custody include:

  • making day-to-day minor decisions such as what your child eats, what time s/he goes to bed,
  • feeding your child,
  • bathing your child, and
  • taking your child to doctor’s appointments, school, etc.

In Oklahoma, the courts often award a parent “custody” without specifically saying “legal” or “physical” custody.  When the court does this, it generally means that the parent has both physical and legal custody. If you have a custody order and are unsure about its meaning, we suggest talking to a lawyer – you can find legal help on our OK Finding a Lawyer page.


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