Oklahoma Custody and Visitation Schedule Guidelines

You need to include information about your physical custody arrangements in your parenting plan. Ideally, you'll make a custody and visitation schedule.

The Oklahoma laws about custody and visitation are found in Title 43 (PDF) of the Oklahoma Statutes. Here are some guidelines from the law to help you make your custody and visitation schedule.

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Physical custody

Physical custody refers to the child's physical living arrangements and the parenting time that each parent has with the child.

You can have joint custody where both parents share in the physical care and custody of the child, or you can have sole custody where one parent has primary responsibility for the physical care and custody of the child and the other parent has visitation or parenting time.

Your custody and visitation schedule

Your custody and visitation schedule should have:

Your schedule should also address:

  • Differing geographical residences of the custodial and noncustodial parents
  • Notice requirements and authorized reasons for canceling visitation
  • Information about exchanges and transportation
  • Religious, school, and extracurricular activities
  • Grandparent, aunts and uncles, and other relative contact
  • The birthday of the child
  • Sibling visitation schedules
  • Special circumstances and emergencies

You can make a custody calendar to show each parent's time and you can also write up all the information about your schedule to include in your plan. You can also include any additional provisions or stipulations to your schedule as you see fit.

Guidelines for making a schedule

As you make your visitation schedule, consider these guidelines:

  • Courts prefer parents to mutually agree on the schedule instead of having a court-imposed schedule
  • Your schedule should maximize the continuity and stability of the life of the child.
  • Each parent should make the child available for family functions like funerals, weddings, reunions, religious celebrations, etc. when the functions conflict with the schedule.
  • Your schedule should not disrupt the regular school hours of your child.
  • Your schedule should reasonably accommodate the work schedules of both parents.
  • Your schedule should accommodate the distance between the parents and the expense of visitation.
  • Each parent should permit and encourage mail and electronic contact between the child and each parent.
  • Each parent is entitled to an equal division of major religious holidays, and a parent who celebrates a religious holiday that the other parent does not celebrate should have the child on that holiday.

The policy of Oklahoma is that a child should have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child. Your schedule should follow the guidelines above and give both parents significant parenting time.

The standard visitation schedule

If you and the other parent agree on your parenting schedule, you can have any schedule you want.

If you don't agree, the judge will decide your schedule. There is no standard visitation schedule for the entire state of Oklahoma, but district courts, counties, and judges have standard visitation schedules they order or use as guidelines when parents can't agree.

The standard schedules are considered the minimum amount of visitation that a noncustodial parent should have. They're similar to this schedule in which the noncustodial parent has visitation every other weekend.

The parents alternate each holiday, whether it's a major holiday or a school or religious holiday.

The parents each get six weeks with the child during summer break.

Courts may change the schedule so there are midweek visits, different exchange times, and different summer break schedules. Check with your local court to find out if there is a standard schedule in your area.

Standard schedules are only used when parents can't agree on a schedule. Courts encourage parents to agree on a schedule instead of having the court order one.

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