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Legal Information: Oklahoma


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Laws current as of December 8, 2023

Aside from domestic violence, stalking, and harassment, are there other reasons why the judge might not order custody or visitation?

The law says the judge is supposed to assume it is not in the child’s best interest for a parent to get custody if the parent:

  1. is a registered sex offender or lives with one;
  2. has been convicted of a crime involving child abuse or lives with someone who has;
  3. is dependent on alcohol or drugs and can be expected in the near future to seriously harm or attempt to harm himself/herself or another person as a result of such dependency; or
  4. has been convicted of domestic abuse within the past five years or lives with someone who has.1

However, even if a parent meets one of these above criteria, the parent can still try to offer evidence to change the judge’s mind and get custody rights.1 

If you are looking to get the other parent’s rights terminated, you can file a petition to terminate parental rights if the other parent was convicted in criminal court of any of the following:

  • rape;
  • rape by instrumentation
  • permitting a child to participate in pornography;
  • lewd molestation of a child under sixteen years of age;
  • child abuse or neglect;
  • enabling child abuse or neglect;
  • causing the death of a child as a result of the physical or sexual abuse or chronic abuse or chronic neglect of the child;
  • murder of any child or aiding, abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit murder of any child;
  • voluntary manslaughter of any child;
  • a felony assault that has resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parents; or
  • murder or voluntary manslaughter of the child’s parent or aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit murder of the child’s parent.2

Note: Custody or visitation is not supposed to be granted to a parent if you can prove that it will likely expose the child to a probable (foreseeable)risk of serious harm.3

If an abusive parent is seeking visitation or custody, we strongly suggest that you get help from a lawyer who has experience with domestic violence issues and custody. To find an attorney in your area, see our Oklahoma Finding a Lawyer page.

1 43 O.S. § 112.2(B)
2 10A O.S. § 1-4-904(8)(b)
43 O.S. § 112.2(C)