Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Oklahoma Child Custody Laws

Child custody, often tied to divorce cases, is regulated by state laws, all of which have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA helps ensure that custody orders are enforced in any state. Child custody laws also cover visitation, which all states provide to some degree, while custody and visitation decisions always must consider the child's own best interests.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Oklahoma.

Child Custody Laws in Oklahoma: At a Glance

In the absence of an Oklahoma court's custody order, both parents (if the child was born during the marriage or there was a paternity agreement in place) may claim physical custody of the child until the court rules otherwise. State law is less clear with regard to unwed parents and child custody, but the father is entitled to physical custody if he is noted on the birth certificate (until the court rules otherwise).

The following chart lists additional details about Oklahoma's child custody laws. See FindLaw's extensive Child Custody section for more articles and resources.

Code Section

Tit. 43 § 109 et seq. of the Oklahoma Statutes

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?


Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 109.4

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes (either court determines whether the child's "intelligent preference" is being expressed or the court backs its decision to take the child's wishes into consideration)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Parenting Schedules Under Oklahoma Law

Oklahoma family courts generally follow the following principles when determining the parenting schedule between parents:

  • Children do best when both parents have a stable and meaningful involvement in their children's lives
  • Each parent has different and valuable contributions to make to their children's development
  • Absent a showing of harm, children should have structured, routine time as well as unstructured time with each parent
  • Parents who can mutually agree on visitation schedules, and who can agree to be flexible, should be given a preference over court-imposed solutions
  • Divorced/separated parents have an inherent obligation toward their children, including avoiding open conflict, maintaining consistent rules and values, adjusting schedules when necessary, etc.

Research the Law

Oklahoma Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Oklahoma Custody Case

Resolving child custody cases is a difficult task since it involves applying complex legal issues to determine the best interests of the children involved. If you are a parent involved in a custody dispute, then the best thing that you can do is to meet with an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney who can defend your rights.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Lawyers can seek to secure visitation rights

Get tailored advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options