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Legal Information: Oklahoma


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Laws current as of December 8, 2023

What custody options are there in Oklahoma?

Even though it’s Oklahoma’s policy to ensure that a child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents,1 the judge could decide to give a child’s care, custody, and control to one of the parents (sole custody).2 If custody is awarded to one of the parents, s/he will be considered the custodial person. This is the person who has physical custody of a child more than one hundred eighty-two (182) days out of the year.3

If joint custody is awarded, the parents will share all or some aspects of their child’s physical and legal care and custody.When a court orders joint physical custody, the court must enter a “joint custody plan” that spells out in detail the rights and responsibilities of each parent. The plan should also address what should be done if the parents disagree on a major decision. For example, sometimes the court assigns (designates) one parent as the “tie-breaker,” or sometimes the court requires mediation. The judge can also order that the parents go to arbitration to resolve disagreements over the language interpretation in the order. If the parents refuse arbitration, the judge can deny joint custody.4

1 43 O.S. § 110.1
2 43 O.S. § 109(B)
3 43 O.S. § 118A(4)
4 43 O.S. § 109(H)