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Who gets the kids in an Oklahoma divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Firm News

When facing a divorce or separation, one of the most sensitive and crucial issues parents encounter is determining child custody. In any custody case in Oklahoma, the child’s best interests are the paramount concern. How does the court determine what custody arrangement is in a child’s best interests?

The child’s needs

First and foremost, a custody arrangement should reflect the needs of the child. This includes the need for food, shelter and clothing. The court will also consider their emotional needs and education.

In some situations, the child’s health care needs may also be an important aspect of a custody decision. For example, if the child has specific medical conditions or disabilities, the custody arrangement must facilitate the best possible care.

Each parent’s ability to provide for the child

The court will consider the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs. This includes looking at the stability of the parent’s home environment and the parent’s ability to support the child’s education.

The health of both parents can also play a significant role in custody arrangements. If a parent struggles with serious health issues, this might impact their ability to provide consistent care, supervision and emotional support.


The distance between co-parents’ homes can have a significant impact on a custody arrangement. Co-parenting over a long distance can affect the child’s daily routine, including school and extracurricular activities.

The child’s wishes

Depending on the child’s age and maturity, their preferences may be a factor in a custody decision. Generally, Oklahoma law regards children of age 12 or older as old enough to voice a preference during custody proceedings. However, the court may give this preference more or less weight depending on the child’s age and maturity.

The child’s safety

If there are any concerns about the child’s safety with either parent, this becomes a critical factor. Issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or criminal activity can heavily influence custody decisions.

Child custody decisions are deeply personal and can be complex. Oklahoma courts strive to ensure that the outcome of a custody decision truly reflects the best interests of the child, considering many aspects of their life.