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.

Babies

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

References

Resources

Related articles

Kentucky State Child Custody Guidelines

For divorcing couples with minor children, determining custody can be a major source of conflict. In Kentucky, state law places the interests of the child above the wishes of the parents, and a court must consider several factors in crafting all custody orders. Once in place, a parent can petition the court for a modification of the custody order in limited circumstances.

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 his relationship with his child. It helps to have a clear understanding of what normal, or standard, visitation is for divorced parents. The schedule won't be exactly the same in every state, but the guidelines are similar, and judges may deviate from the guidelines, based on the facts of your particular case.

Alabama Child-Support Laws

Child support is often one of the most disputed issues between a couple when a marriage ends. Although many people have the "traditional" idea that only the father is ordered to pay child support, today's court's take a more gender-neutral view toward child support payments. As in other states, child support payments in Alabama are determined by several factors relating to the relative circumstances of the mother, the father and the children.

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. ...

Shared Custody Agreements

In the past, most custody arrangements granted primary custody to mothers, giving only a few days of visitation to ...

Ideas for Sharing Custody

A shared parenting plan post-divorce or after parents break up might be the kindest gift they can give their children, ...

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 ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED