In Oklahoma, divorced parents can choose a variety of custody options. The most common arrangement is joint legal custody, with both parents participating in decisions concerning the child, such as school choice, healthcare, day care, and religious upbringing. A court will typically grant joint legal custody unless one parent has proven unfit.
Physical custody is decided separately from legal custody. The court will decide with whom the child will live and what visitation arrangements are appropriate. In doing so, it will apply the “best interests of the child” standard. With younger children, a court will typically grant physical custody to the primary caregiver who has provided most of their care up to the present, and allow the other party frequent visitation. With older children, the court will frequently let them choose and provide for longer stretches of time with each parent.
If a parent proves to be unfit, then the court will usually give physical and legal custody to the other parent, or to another family member if neither parent is fit. A parent can be deemed unfit for domestic violence, drug abuse, child abuse, sex offenses, or for failing to adequately provide for the needs of the child.
It can be difficult to modify a child custody order once it is in place, so it is important to have an aggressive child custody attorney to fighting for your rights at the outset of your case. Call today for a free consultation or request a customized quote!