Facts on Child Support & Visitation Laws in Oklahoma

By Brenna Davis

Oklahoma, like all states, uses the "best interests of the child" standard in making custody and visitation determinations. However, this standard can be quite vague and lead to different results in similar cases depending on the judge, lawyers and other factors not related to a child's best interests. Consequently, Oklahoma has developed a set of visitation recommendations according to age and parental circumstances designed to help judges make uniform decisions that benefit children. Oklahoma also has standard rules for child support that make it easier for parents to calculate the child support they will likely pay.


In many states, judges believe babies should not have overnight time with non-custodial parents, usually fathers. However, Oklahoma visitation standards explicitly state that both mothers and fathers are capable of providing competent care to babies. Children under 18 months, according to Oklahoma's Visitation Guidelines, should have contact with the non-custodial parent several times a week to foster attachment and bonding. As the child develops into a toddler, the length of the visits should be increased; the frequency may be decreased, if necessary.

Older Children

The guidelines for preschoolers encourage judges to take into account the role each parent plays in the child's life. Non-custodial parents who are heavily involved with children should be given substantial visitation time. However, if the custodial parent has historically been the primary caregiver, every other weekend plus contact during the week is the recommended visitation schedule. For children 5 to 17 years old, the guidelines advocate an "every other weekend" schedule, emphasizing that most quality parenting time occurs during the weekend and transitions should not interrupt a child's school week.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Other Visitation Considerations

It's important to note that state guidelines are for visitation and play no role in determining custody. When parents share custody, visitation schedules may be dramatically different and Oklahoma law gives no gender-based preference in making custody determinations. State guidelines also require that parents foster their children's relationship with the other parent and permit telephone or e-mail contact when they are away from them.

Child Support Guidelines

The state of Oklahoma offers a child support calculator to help parents determine their anticipated child support obligation. Parents' child support obligations are based on their income and the child's needs, and judges attempt to preserve the standard of living a child was previously accustomed to when making child support determinations. Parents are generally obligated to contribute to medical, educational and daily expenses, and it is normally non-custodial parents who pay child support. When parents share custody, both may be obligated to pay child support or pay a specific percentage of a child's regular expenses.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Custody & Visitation of Infant Children in Divorce



Related articles

How Is Child Custody Decided In Divorce?

Every state defers to a concept called the “best interests of the child” when deciding custody issues. But different states interpret this guideline in different ways. As a parent, you might do your best for your child every day, only to find that a judge disagrees with your assessment. In the end, it comes down to the opinion of that judge and what he and his state believe to be the most important factors in a child’s life. But some standard tenets apply.

Child Custody Rights for 12 Years & Older

Establishing child custody can be a highly contentious aspect of divorce. Although each parent may feel entitled to a certain amount of contact and authority over a child, custody decisions are made according to what is best for the child. In cases where the child is of sufficient age to understand the nature of the proceedings, his or her participation and preference might be considered by the court. Understanding how state law impacts the custody rights of your pre-teen or teenage child will help you better prepare for the custody process.

Amount of Child Support in Mississippi

Parents who are getting divorced in Mississippi must estimate how much child support they will pay or receive during the divorce process and also plan for their financial future once the divorce is final. Mississippi’s formula for calculating child support is relatively easy to understand, and online calculators allow you to enter your figures into the formula. But the final amount of support relies heavily on the judge, who has the discretion to vary the statutory support formula to address your family’s specific situation.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Father's Rights in Indiana

The fathers' rights movement is a response to perceived injustices in the family court system throughout the country. ...

California Laws on Teenage Custody Wishes

Custody determinations often have a significant impact on the life of a child. For that reason, California law provides ...

Father's Custody Rights in South Carolina

The fathers' rights movement is a response to perceived gender biases in the family court system. For many years, the ...

What Is the Normal Child Visitation for Divorced Parents?

A non-residential parent can be worried and disheartened by the idea that he won't have enough time to continue to grow ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED