Oklahoma Custody Agreements and Parenting Plans – Highlights From the Law
Custody laws in Oklahoma are found in Title 43 in the Oklahoma statutes. All of these laws are important for divorced or separating parents to now, and there it is particularly essential that parents learn the guidelines from the state about making the custody agreement. In order for this plan to be accepted by the state, it must contain all of the necessary information and the parents must follow the proper procedures. Here are some highlights from the law concerning parenting plans.
1. Awarding of custody. Section 109 in Title 43 details how the state awards custody of the children. This is a big part of the parenting plan, and parents must figure out how they will arrange custody. Custody will be awarded according to what is in the best physical, moral, and mental interest of the child. Either parent may be awarded custody, or joint custody can be awarded. The state gives no preference to either parent because of gender.
2. Parenting plan. Section 109, Part D requires that the court have a final plan concerning custody matters. This plan, often called a parenting plan or custody agreement, is made based on the plan submitted by the parents. If the mother and father are able to agree on the plan, they can submit one jointly that the court will consider. If they are not able to work together, each parent should submit a proposed plan and the court will look at both ideas.
3. Joint custody. If either parent wants to have a joint custody arrangement, that parent must file a plan that shows how the parents will share custody and control of the children. The mother and father can submit an agreement together, or the parents can file separate plans. The plan needs to detail the physical living arrangements of the child, child support obligations, medical and dental care for the child, school placement, visitation rights, and anything else the parents want to include. The court can terminate joint custody at any time if either parent requests it, or if the court finds it isn’t in the best interest of the child. A new plan detailing the custody arrangements will then be made.